Ive been in the fitness industry most of my life. I’ve opened gyms here in Shenzhen and Dongguan, and was a trainer for over ten years.
As a trainer, the main thing you struggle with is motivating clients – it’s the key part of the job. You need your clients to consume classes, get better, stronger, fitter, and buy more classes / tell their friends you are an inspiration. It’s the word of mouth recommendations that result in more client signups. I would always tell the trainer teams in my gyms to focus first on their skills of motivation, and secondary is the guidance. All the info and advice to transform your body is FREE on the internet, video, articles etc. it’s all there! Why do people still need trainers? Motivation. Human connection is a powerful thing.
There are many kinds of people that come in for training; there’s the house wife who wants to stay young and active, the thin guy who wants to bulk to have more presence, the overweight father who’s wife keeps telling him to get out of the pub and into the gym, the young teenager who recently discovered that girls like muscle, maybe even the slightly overweight individual who emotionally eats and wants to balance their vice out with some hard gym work. Everyone has their reasons and I have respect for all of them. These are just a few of the characters that trainers need to see day to day, and adapt their personally to motivate them to move and sweat.
There is one group of individuals who I’ve had the most experience with: the “no time” high performance businessman or women. I was always intrigued by this group – they excel in the business world, and many of those who’s health I was responsible for, were at the top of their game. They were extremely successful in their career and business but just needed that support and coach to get them over the hurdle of starting on the path of fitness. Why was success in fitness and health so hard for them to achieve on their own? What was their excuse or pain point?
I figured it was just a rewiring, what motivated the high performance business elite? What made them tick, what were the elements of focus and determination that they applied to business, and why couldn’t they apply it to their fitness and health goals?
Let me introduce my formula – 10orDie. To put it short, this program is a challenge – you must do 10min of non stop exercise work every single day till the day you die. No “rest day” (you don’t need it). Its about long term, VERY long term consistency. Many of these individuals enjoy risks, it’s a part of their business and what’s made them successful. It’s where they all want to play at. So bet on yourself! You want to get into a habit of exercise and maintaining your health, then bet on it. Fix a daily goal and set a penalty if you fail to complete it. If you don’t do your 10mins you lose that money – simple! I am doing this with many businessmen and women who’ve come to me for fitness advice. We set a day rate based on each individual person’s situation, then they pay their own decided rate upfront for one week, and every day that they finish their 10 minute work they message me that it has been done and I send that days rate back. The system is fully based on trust, and predicated on the fact that clients know that they are only cheating themselves if they do not follow through with the program.
Now is 10min enough? Well what do you think is better: 10 min everyday till you die, or 2 hours once or twice a week with the constant easy excuse of “something came up” destroying your consistency? There is always an excuse. How many gyms have closed due to Covid-19? Yes many have, but the gym is just an environment to make you work, it’s a motivation for you to move and burn energy and if it’s closed it doesn’t mean your body stops – you still need to move and you still to burn energy. I firmly believe that 10mins a day every single day without fail is far better for health and fitness, and will guarantee much better long term outcomes vs. someone who is always breaking their fitness habits.
Now we just need to ensure those 10 min are productive and effective – so where to start? I tell everyone who starts to at minimum just get a 10min run in. They can run however fast they want but they can’t stop and must just stick to a minimum of 10mins. Even if you walk for 10mins that’s a start: yes you may come and tell me that was easy and you can do more – and I agree that for sure you can – but it’s not just about the first week when you’re all pumped and excited for change and you believe you can, it’s about developing a system and a routine that you WILL follow for life. My job is to set your habits at the start to make this possible. Your brain needs to be molded to see change as something manageable, something easy to continue, until the point that it becomes a natural habit, and then your brain will not even think about it. You don’t need to pump yourself up to achieve the 10 mins, it’s an easy stepping-stone for your brain to get yourself into this habit with minimum chance of failure. That is what you want to develop, fitness as an easy habit just like having a morning coffee and reading the news. It’s your lifestyle, so from the 10min starting point the sky is the limit on where you can push the envelope and gauge what level works for you long term. Clients that start this program won’t just continue to walk, they start at a walk then move to a jog, and from there they move to a run, as once the habits are formed, progression becomes a natural imperative from one’s own body/mind. Many times after 1 – 2 months clients are on a full 10min sprint!
Now let’s go back to the first question – if you did a 10min sprint everyday till you die would you be healthy? Would you be fit? Would you be in shape? We are talking about a sprint in this example! That is some serious work! That is a fast-paced run where your whole body in engaged – only a fit and healthy in shape body is capable of that. But my program is not just limited to a sprint, other options are laps in a pool, rowers, cycling, burpees – the point of the system is not the exercise itself, it’s in reformatting your mind to make long term health and fitness a natural part of your life.
Ok so lets try it, why not start with a morning 10min walk, walk fast or walk slow it’s up to you. After 10mins ask yourself, “do I want to try a jog tomorrow”? Sure. Next day jog, or run fast then slow/fast and slow at your pace for 10 min. Then ask yourself, “how was that, did that make me feel better”? Yes. Good. Do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and that feeling will never end. It’s just 10 mins, but you can maximize that 10 mins!
Now after the habit is there, you can start to get some body-weight work in, again ONLY for 10mins. Give it a try, 5 simple exercises, each one done for 1 min and timed so you don’t need to complete a certain number. Just keep going till the time is up, rest 10 seconds then do the next movement. After you’ve done all 5 exercises, start at the beginning again. Even if you get less than 10 reps for each movement, so what? Next day you add a rep, you start off simple – the focus is on BUILDING THE HABIT, and BUILDING YOUR CONSISTENCY. In 2 months that 10 min bodyweight training will be really tough, and yet you’ll be coming back to ask me if it’s enough.
Just do it every day till you die, that is the challenge!
This is my solution for the high performance “I have no time” businessman and women – they excel in business and career, and their ability to manipulate and control their own minds is the way for them to excel in their health and fitness.
I can’t wait to hear the guy who has done 10min all out crushing workout for 4years not missing one day! That person will be fit, healthy, and most importantly they will have shown themself that they are able to continue for years to come!.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the read!
My 10min workouts I call 10BLAZT, and I have 2 video examples here attached that I did while at the Residence G hotel before enjoying their weekend brunch and indoor pool.
John Graham Harper
The JG Show ( Youtube and Apple Podcasts )