The first week of January is coming.

New Years resolutions blah blah blah and other stuff like that. Time to prepare and, if you do it right, you won't be sitting idly for the first week.

What's important is that you help people get back into their routines as quickly as possible and you're the first trainer that potential clients think of now that they've decided that, "this is the year to get ripped, jacked, and tanned".

It's almost time to shut off for the holidays and enjoy family time. So, to finish off all new content for the year (because thePTDC needs to rest too), I'm going to give you a couple quick jobs to do to get a head start with these personal trainer holiday tips. These simple jobs are all things that I personally did and accounted for a lot of success early on in the year.

Ideally you'll do all 3 (they're quick) but any of them can be done by itself to great benefit.

Personal Trainer Holiday Tip 1 - Book in 2 sessions the first week of January

The first week back in January for unseasoned trainers is spent chasing after clients, trying to get people booked in. When you do get a hold of your client, the week is up and you've missed out on training hours. This one personal trainer holiday tip led to 20-30hrs or $1,940-$2,910 for me (when my rate was $97/hr).

But booking one session in for the first week of January isn't enough. If a client cancels some time over the holidays or forgets about the session you're forced to chase. And when you do chase, the dreaded email chain starts.

Booking at least 2 sessions with each client early on in January accomplishes 3 things:

  1. They get back on a regular schedule right away.
  2. You don't have to chase them in January.
  3. If they cancel or forget their first session, they have another booked. If you need to follow up, you save emails by saying, "no problem you missed the first, we're still booked for ____. See you then".

To justify booking an extra session, tell your client that you're filling up fast in January and you want to make sure to fit them in. If possible, book in recurring weekly spots.

Personal Trainer Holiday Tip 2 - Email all active and inactive clients twice (once now, and once in the new year)

personal trainer holidaysJanuary is an awesome time to get clients back. You've also got lots of competition: spammy ads, other trainers, and insane promises and promotions from other gyms are all going against you.

When I trained I had the secretary compile a list of every client that trained with me or came in for a sales meeting the previous year. I'd then go through the list and eliminate all that I knew were duds (i.e. people who moved away) or anybody I didn't want to train (also very important).

Once you do that, send each of these people a personal email (use their name in the subject so they know it's not a mass message). Wish them a happy holidays and make a personal statement if you can. Below is an example:

Subject: Jeff - Happy Holidays!

Hey Jeff,

I hope you're having an awesome time with your family. How's Jenny doing? And Kevin, is he loving University?

I'm looking forward to a much needed break myself. It's been busy, which is good. But time to relax and spend some time with the girl.

If you have a minute, I'd love an update.



The first email comes now. You may or may not get a response. In my 1K Extra course I tell a story of a client who we emailed for two years with no response. One day, out of the blue, he came in, thanked us for keeping in touch, and bought 50 sessions on the spot (~$4,500). Unless somebody asks you to stop, continue following up.

If you get a response, great. If they ask you about training, get them booked in for at least two times in the new year. Once for a sales meeting if necessary and once more for the first session or assessment. Tell them that times are booking up fast for January so they need to book in the first session now and you can figure out package details during your initial meeting. The sessions can be cancelled, no problem.

January 1st or 2nd, send another email wishing them a happy new year. Follow the exact same process.

A couple of notes:

  1. Don't proposition them to come back and train. This comes off as spammy and makes it awkward for you to message them in the future. Be cool. Be personal. Wish them well. They know why you're messaging and will get back if they're ready to train. If they don't respond to the first, you still have a second in January to send.
  2. Make it personal. Refer to the "5 best ways to email an old client to get them back" for specifics.
  3. This is a great time to contact back old clients that have moved away and garner interest for your online personal training business. For those interested, the Online Trainer Academy is what you're after.

Personal Trainer Holiday Tip 3 - Write out and give your clients some basic holiday tips

Two purposes for this. The first is to help your client keep on track during the holidays with their workouts and nutrition. The second is that if you do a good job, this document will get displayed and passed on. The holidays are a time when families get together and is prime time for referrals. You want your client to put this list up on their fridge.

This could be as nice as a designed pamphlet or as simple as a word document. It could be individualized for each client or the same for every one.

Bonus: If you really want to go all out, get them to "sign off" each day when they complete a task. Give them boxes to place a checkmark or initial beside each job. Tell them that they need to put it on their fridge during the holidays. Family time is awkward for many people and you've given them a talking point -- you. And guess what? Your contact info is at the bottom of the sheet. What a coincidence...

Some examples of tips to give:

  1. Drink a glass of water with lemon each morning.
  2. Eat veggies before the meal.
  3. Separate yourself from a situation when you're lounging around the snack table. Hang out in the other room.
  4. No more than one dessert a day.
  5. Complete workouts (generally a bit lighter than normal, but you're the boss on this one)
  6. Only eat bad food if it's really good. Cheap crappy chocolate isn't worth it. But the good stuff, that's OK.

personal trainer holiday tips

Bonus Tip: If you do choose to make a general one. Leave it at the front of your gym for all members to take with them. Call it the "holiday healthy guide: Daily tips to enjoy yourself, but keep healthy over the holidays". Write directly on the paper that it's OK to take one or multiple copies to give to others. Replenish when needed.

Personal Trainer Holiday Tip 4 - Relax and read a book

I heard this one's pretty good...

And here's a list of all of the others I recommend.

Put your feet up, sip a doppio espresso in the morning and a scotch at night. Chill. Recover. Take some mellow yellow time. You've earned it.

And with that, I'm out. We've got the best articles of 2013 coming up later this week.

Have a great holiday season!

-Jonbest personal trainer