The 3 Pillars of a Successful Coaching Business:
Most coaches get into coaching because they like working out themselves. They think “Hey, if I can get myself in shape, I should be able to help other people do the same thing.”
Before we start coaching, we have fantasies of what it will be like: women who have lost 100 pounds and regained their confidence tearfully thanking us, athletes who score the game-winning basket or goal saying “I couldn’t have done it without my coach”, high-fives from everyone who comes in, and most importantly our own ripped bodies.
But when we start training people, the reality smacks us in the face:
- We don’t have time to take care of ourselves: We shove protein bars down our throats between sessions.
- 12 - 16 hour days: Starting work in the dark, ending work in the dark. Trying to find the random hour a week where we can see our families.
- Clients who want therapy sessions, not training sessions: Despite our best efforts, they want to complain about their problems instead of working.
- We’re constantly looking for new clients: Even when our clients are grateful, they rarely tell their friends. It feels like an uphill battle just to keep afloat.
It’s not that our fantasies about coaching are unachievable, it’s that how we thought we’d get there is different than what we were told.
Being good at getting in shape ourselves, being personable—even being highly-educated—simply isn’t enough.
It isn’t enough to put us in the driver’s seat of our businesses. Instead, to be a successful coach in our current industry, we need three pillars.
If any of these three pillars are lacking, our businesses will stagnate - or worse, they’ll fail.
Pillar #1 of Becoming A Complete Coach:
Use a proven (and scalable) system for writing training programs — that way you can deliver consistent results.
Like most coaches I know, I spent years going to school; learning anatomy, biomechanics, and a thousand different things that I thought would make me prepared to train elite athletes someday.
Despite thousands of dollars (and thousands of hours), when I graduated I still had NO idea how to actually get results for a client. I thought internships would solve the problem. Once again — despite working hard, learning constantly, wiping sweat off of benches, and executing other people’s programs — I still didn’t really know how to coach.
I dreaded my Monday mornings with clients. I knew that despite spending precious hours each week writing individual programs, I would find myself winging it almost every day, with almost every client.
“Can’t do a reverse lunge because your knee hurts today? Okay … the cable machine is free, let’s do some face pulls.”
“So stressed out you’re on the brink of tears? … Okay … let’s just have you ride a bike and foam roll today.”
There was no rhyme or reason. I thought, “If all I do is get them to move, they’ll make progress”. But that only worked for a few months, and then the progress would stall, and my clients would disappear.
What’s worse, I was spending hours each week — just to be wrong.
Everyone at my facility was in the same boat. There wasn’t a single coach there who was doing WAY better than I was. I knew I needed to get outside of my small bubble and figure out what the best coaches in the world were doing.
I started following coach’s like Ian King, Dave Tate, Mel Siff, Yuri Verkoshansky and Vladimir Zatsiorsky. Dissecting what they did and trying it out myself.
Things got better, little by little. I’d learn key pieces and try them out. But learning a small piece here and there wasn’t changing my day-to-day business. I was still spending way too much time writing individual programs, and not nearly enough time working out myself, or hanging out with my wife, or marketing my business.
So, I started looking for the bigger picture patterns. Instead of individual pieces, I looked for a bigger system that I could use.
Within a few months, I went from spending 10+ hours a week writing programs, to just under two hours. And even though I was spending less time writing programs — my results got better and better.
Anytime someone came in stressed, injured, or with less time than normal — I had a plan.
I had more room in my schedule. I had more confidence in my coaching. I had more PROOF that I was a capable coach. I started being able to control my business for the first time in my life.
Every coach starts at the bottom. That’s okay.
But rising to the top depends on one thing:
... it’s not your degree
... it’s not your equipment or your logo or your Instagram
… it’s not even your social skills
... it’s your results.
And until you can get results consistently, in a scalable way, you won’t have time to work on the other pillars of your business.
Pillar #2 of Becoming A Complete Coach:
Develop the ability to help clients “shift” into action.
(Even when they’re hurt, stressed, or pains-in-the-ass).
You know the scene: It’s 6:02am on a Monday and you’re looking at your watch.
An hour ago you woke-up, slammed some coffee and protein shake, packed a quick lunch, and you were out the door and into the cold-dark morning. You’re in a rush, but you’re always on time.
You’re looking at your watch, 6:15am and still no client.
“I should’ve slept an extra 15 minutes.” You kick yourself for thinking this time would be different.
6:28am She strolls in without acknowledging she’s late, complaining about her back, her lack of sleep, her job. She says she really needs to “get back on her diet” for the thousandth time.
This isn’t what we were dreaming about when we decided to become coaches.
We wanted clients:
- Who showed up motivated and ready to work.
- Who did what we asked of them and got results to show for it.
- Who had a goal in mind and stuck with it (and with us) until they reached it.
Most of us (myself included), dreamed that once we started training athletes, everything would change.
They’d come in stoked to see us and ready to work, 100% of the time.
Nope! Just as often they have bad days, get hurt, are grumpy, or are only training because it’s part of their contract.
No matter who you’re working with, you have to know the basics of how to help clients re-focus.
Because clients aren’t hiring you for your programming.
You need it to help them get results. But they’re really hiring you to:
- Keep them accountable
- Help them stay consistent
- Push them, but not so far that they feel incompetent or incapable.
We spend all of our time and money as coaches, learning about anatomy and science. But 99.99% of clients don’t give a crap about it.
And how much time do we spend learning about motivation, communication, psychology, and reframing?
Your programming is only as good as your ability to get someone bought-in to doing it on a day-to-day basis. Period.
If you have the best programs and exercises in the world, but you can’t get your clients to do it — how are you going to get results for them? How are you going to show the types of clients you really want that you can help them?
If you want to be a successful and complete coach — you don’t need a degree in psychology, you don’t need to wait until you have the “perfect” clients —you just need to know the basics of how to communicate and refocus your clients.
When you have programming down (so you don’t injure anyone, and you can deliver consistent results) and you know the basics on how to get clients bought-in and taking action … you need a strategy for attracting more and better clients.
Pillar #3 of Becoming A Complete Coach:
Learn and use proven business systems to
bring you more (and better) clients.
What I’m about to say isn’t a value judgement on clients. I believe everyone can get a lot of value working with a coach. But here’s the truth: Some clients are simply better to work with than others.
“Better” clients are clients who:
- Want to be at the gym: They’ll always be easier and more fun to train than clients who are there out of obligation.
- Have a long-term goal: They’re not just in it for their reunion or their daughter’s wedding — they’re committed to doing it for life.
- Are training for life (not just to excel at working out): They want to be able to hike, bike, run, excel at a sport, or lift up their grandkids. They don’t want to lift, just to get great at lifting.
And even if you already have these clients, some will inevitably move away, lose an income, go on vacation for a summer, or get hurt.
When those clients leave, do you know who is going to replace them?
I sure didn’t when I started out. Everytime a great client left, I dreaded having to replace them (and the income they brought in).
But when you have a few simple systems in place to collect and convert referrals, you never have to worry about where next month’s money is coming from.
And even better, if you have a client that is simply not a good fit, you can graciously let them go, leave them feeling good, and know that you’ll have someone better waiting.
A complete coach gets great results for their clients through programming, and helping them shift their focus — but they also have to be able to take care of themselves.
We get into coaching because we want to help other people; but unless you know the basics of how to keep your business afloat, you aren’t going to be able to help anyone.
So how do you develop these three pillars if you don’t already have them? And how do you do it when you already barely have time for yourself?
I spent 15+ years developing my programming, business, and coaching systems and testing it with individual coaches, huge gyms, weight loss clients, and NBA players - it’s been taught and tested with the best training facilities in the world.
And now, I’m making it available to you.
If you’ve ever found yourself:
- Struggling to get your clients to do what you tell them to.
- Staying up late and getting up early putting together programs — only to be frustrated about having to change them last minute or not seeing the results you want for your clients.
- Constantly searching for new clients, and unsure how to get referrals.
I want to help you turn your business and coaching around.
The Complete Coach Package
The first-ever program to systematize and scale your programming, unlock results for clients, and take control of your coaching business — in one long-weekend.
I’ve combined three of my best programs to create a package that will make sure you have everything you need to take control of your coaching business, get better results with your clients, and make more money.
Here’s everything you get with the
Complete Coach Package.
1. Physical Preparation 101: My programming system that gives you everything you need to create effective, results based workouts — and the coaching cues to execute your programs with perfect technique. This two-day seminar is required for all of our interns and coaches before ever training a client, and covers the most important aspect of coaching, that took me years of testing to learn. You’ll get:
✓ My R7 programming template: Build consistently great programs (that get AMAZING results)
✓ 10 Principles every program needs: Whether strength or conditioning, every program needs these 10 things to be successful.
✓ Program Design Levers: How to manipulate sets, reps, rest periods and time under tension for maximal progress.
✓ Sample Programs and Templates: Tried and tested programs for fat loss, muscle gain, strength and athletic development that you can use TODAY.
✓ How to stop back pain and bad breathing (in under 15 minutes)
✓ Teach someone to squat safely and effectively — in their very first session.
✓ How to coach the deadlift and stop lower back issues in their tracks.
✓ How (and when) to coach overhead exercises — without hurting your clients.
✓ The Complete Guide to Progressions and Regressions (easily work around injuries, or tired clients, without having to re-write your programs.
✓ Fat Loss Finishers: Regardless of who you train, you need these in your arsenal.
2. Craft of Coaching Toolkit: The necessary companion for all coaches who have a hard time getting a client to do what they need to do. For the first time ever, I’m sharing my quick-start toolkit, with word-for-word scripts, questions, and exercises you can use to get clients to re-focus (and not get bogged down yourself). This ebook contains:
✓ Tools you can use today: Word-for-word scripts and tools for refocusing a client when they show up grumpy, stressed, or distracted.
✓ How to Create Compliant Clients In the Gym : How to set expectations, get them to show up on time, do their program, or stop doing that annoying thing they always do.
✓ Create Compliant Clients Outside the Gym : How to shrink and motivate change, so that your clients will actually do it.
✓ Keeping Clients Happy: How to keep them coming back, so you don’t have to constantly look for new clients.
✓ Emergency Ripcords: How to save your own butt, when you’ve tried everything else, and your client still sucks.
3. LIVE Fitness Business Webinar: We’ll cover how to reduce churn, how to increase your referrals, and how to get clients to sign up for more sessions. You’ll get:
✓ Direct access to me: An opportunity to ask any questions you have about your fitness business.
✓ A step-by-step process to ensure that you onboard new clients successfully. This will reduce churn and make sure that everyone feels like they’re a part of your family from Day 1.
✓ How to keep clients committed for the long haul: Everyone wants to talk about new business, but how do you keep the ones you have longer?
✓ Two simple referral strategies, to sell without being sleazy: Choose the system that works best for you and your business.
Imagine every client you train, giving you a testimonial like this:
“This was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my health.”
“This has been the best training experience I’ve ever had”
“I move better, lift heavier, and I feel great about my body."
But this system doesn’t just work for me, it’s helped hundreds of the top coaches in the world.
You see, once other coaches saw what was happening with my clients and my business, they wanted to know what I was doing differently. I started teaching them my programming system, and they saw incredible results for their clients and businesses too.
I started being asked to speak about my programming system, at first in Dallas, or Seattle. But then in Ireland, Slovenia, and Wroclaw.
Seminar after seminar, I watched the businesses who started implementing this system transform, from shoe-string chaotic coaching with no rhyme, reason, or consistent results — to growing businesses, with more clients than they could handle.
But, don’t just take it from me…
"Learning this programming system has saved us so much time. My coaches are writing programs 5x or 6x faster than they were before — and now, they’re doing it in a way where if a client has a question about WHY they have a certain movement, we have specific answers."- Luka Hocevar
"When you use the words used in this system your clients will understand the why behind your programming and they’ll be bought in. Not to mention, you can write world-class programs in half the time!"- Jon Facci
"Before learning from Mike, we had different ways of programming and multiple templates - and our clients didn't quite understand the point of each phase of our programs. Now we have a streamlined process and common language that all of our coaches use and that clients actually understand. It's made it easier to give our coaches a way to program - which has helped get our young coaches up to speed much faster."- Andy McCloy
Is The Complete Coach Package right for me?
Physical Prep 101: Complete Coach Package is right for you if:
✓ You’re dedicated to the craft of coaching, and you want to become the best.
This package isn’t for hobbyists. This is for fitness fanatics who want to become the VERY BEST. It’s dense material, and it’s not for the faint-of-heart. But if you’re dedicated to your craft, and you want to become the very best, this will get you there.
✓ You have experience coaching.
This program was designed for people who have trained at least a handful of clients. If you’ve never worked with a client before — start there. You won’t be able to appreciate, or apply the knowledge, until you’ve actually experienced the barriers, bad movement patterns, and difficulty of working with clients in real-life.
✓ You want a proven system that delivers results.
This has been tried and tested with some of the best facilities in the world. Whether you train athletes, older-folks, or anyone in between, this system WILL deliver you results. You can feel confident in your coaching knowing it’s been tested, and proven to work.
Physical Prep 101: Complete Coach Package is NOT right for you if...
✘ You’d rather read 5,000 free blogs instead of spending ONE dedicated weekend learning from an expert.
Piecemeal learning has its place. If you want to learn how to build a fence, stain your deck, or cue a specific movement — by all means use Youtube. If you have all the time in the world to get better, and you don’t care what happens to your clients in the meantime, sure, go piecemeal.
But if you want to change your business, and have a reliable system, it requires dedication and investing in yourself. No amount of free youtube videos are going to help you excel. If you don’t believe in yourself enough to invest in yourself, this isn’t for you.
✘ You’re afraid of “Ugly”.
I recently heard feedback from a course graduate that said “Mike, the video angle was wrong. And your logo colors aren’t great.” At first I was a little offended — but then I responded “Okay. I’m happy to talk about that, but first, what did you learn from the course?”
He responded that he had never had a training system before, that he finally “gets it”, that he feels more capable and competent than ever. “So, what’s exactly is it that’s wrong with the course?” … “It’s ugly” he said.
Listen, I’m not a graphic designer. I’m not a videographer. I’m not even great at matching my shirt and socks (that’s why my uniform is all black). If that’s what you’re here for and what you care about the most, you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere.
If having the perfect logo colors, font, or newest most beautiful drone-shot video production is what you’re after — this course and package isn’t for you. Don’t buy it if you’re afraid of ugly.
But if you, like me, don’t care whatsoever how something looks (if it works, and it works damn well) — you my friend, are invited to join me in this course.
You’re also welcome to wear your favorite gym shorts at my facility, even if they have a little hole in them. (Or to wear mismatched socks, because that never impacted your squat numbers.)
What people are saying about these systems:
“I’ve been able to systemize my programming and save time so I can manage 40+ hours of training clients a week.”
“It helped me piece everything together as a young coach. I was fairly green and I learned how to program and coach better and what the progressions and regressions were.”
“It’s ugly.” (Same person: “It’s so nice to have a system that actually works, and doesn’t take a ton of time.”)
“Absolutely exceeded my expectations. His coaching cues were incredible, cleaned up exercises and how I coach them. I highly recommend this product.”
“What can I say - he challenged a lot of the beliefs I had. When you think you know it all, you’re going to discover that Mike is going to challenge your philosophies. You’re going to learn new cues, and I took a lot from it.”
“Great course! It put together a lot of the puzzles for me around programming. It also opened my eyes to technique and corrective exercises.”
“I definitely recommend this for anyone else. His view is different than everyone else. This is great tool to add to your toolbox.”
Frequently Asked Questions:
I need to have programming of my own ASAP. How long does it take to do this package?
First off, this comes with a collection of pre-made training templates that you can plug-and-play with your clients and athletes by simply tailoring them to their specific needs.
I’ve created a mix of different programs (i.e. fat loss, strength development, athleticism) so that you can take these programs and use them immediately. All you have to do is slap your own logo on it, tweak and refine as necessary, and you’re ready to go!
That said, the Physical Prep 101 seminar, is 12 hours of recorded material. You can do the full course, in one-long weekend, or break it into actionable chunks. Whatever works best for you and your business.
I’ve purchased other products of yours, how is this different?
Most of my other products (Complete Core Training, Complete Single-Leg Training, etc.) are niche and focused on a specific theme, designed for coaches looking for the nitty-gritty, specific-case issues they’re working on with clients.
Physical Prep 101 which is included in this Complete Coach Package, on the other hand, is deliberately general in nature. It’s the foundation for my complete training system, motivation and coaching, and business. It’s the most comprehensive package I offer, and it’s the starting point for everything that I do. (It’s also required material for all of my interns.)
This product came about because people kept asking: “If I could only buy ONE of your products, what should I buy?”
This package is the result. A complete resource to get coaches started with highly effective programming, in the shortest amount of time.
If you want to have an understanding of my overarching philosophy when it comes to program design and coaching, you’ll find it in here.
Do you cover assessments in this product?
Assessments are an incredibly expansive topic, and are something that I simply did not have the time to cover in this course. As such, we focus solely on program design and coaching in this package.
Should I buy this package that contains Physical Prep 101 or the EADS courses first?
PP101 is the foundational course. It covers all of the basics with regards to theory, program design, and coaching.
EADS is geared more towards athletes, and it dives into higher-level concepts as well. As such, I always recommend that coaches and trainers by Physical Prep 101 first, and then all of the materials in the EADS courses will make more sense.
Can I get CEU’s with this product?
Yes, Physical Prep 101 is accredited for 1.3 NSCA CEU’s.
How long do I have access to the course?
Forever. (Or until the internet dies.) Whichever comes first.
Are you willing to bet on yourself?
There was only ONE thing that got me from being a mediocre personal trainer, to being one of the top coaches in the U.S. — I was willing to bet on myself.
After years of schooling and trying to find mentors through internships, I discovered that no one was going to hold my hand and no one else was going to bet on me. If I wanted to get better, I had to bet on myself.
To fly me to your gym, or attend one of my seminars costs hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars.
But I know what it’s like to own a business that you’re trying to grow — and I know what’s possible when you bet on yourself.
Typically, I sell Physical Preparation 101 ALONE for $347. But I want to reward people who are willing to bet on themselves, and who are willing to take action.
For the next 48 hours, instead of charging $597 for the complete coaching package — I’m keeping the price at $347.
So for the same price as Physical Preparation 101 ALONE, you’ll also get the Craft of Coaching Toolkit, and a 1-hour live-webinar with me.
That’s right. I’m so confident that this program will work for you, that I’m offer a 30 day, 100% money back guarantee. It’s helped hundreds of the world’s best coaches and I know it will help you too.
The guarantee is simple: If you go through all the materials and are unhappy with what you’ve learned or the results, email me within 30 days and I’ll give you every cent of your money back - guaranteed. That’s it.
That said, I do require you go through all of the materials and try to apply them before deciding it doesn’t work. (And yes, I will know if you’ve simply given up on yourself or if you’ve done the course.)
You WILL get as much out of this course package as you put into it. I guarantee it.
Since opening my facility in Indianapolis, we’ve had dozens of interns come and go. Some have been incredibly successful and some (unfortunately) have struggled to thrive.
As a mentor, that kills me. But I’ve noticed a big difference between those who have succeeded and those who have plateaued: the willingness to invest in themselves and do the work to become better.
An internship alone won’t do it. A degree alone won’t do it. This is a constant attitude of “I’m going to bet on myself and take every opportunity and learn from it.”
Take for example, my former intern Eric Otter.
Eric didn’t just do an internship at my facility and expect to “make it”. He knew that an internship is just where things started. From there, he went on to study with Eric Cressey, get a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, started a PhD, and took every continuing education course he could get his hands on.
Before graduating, he was offered a job as the performance director for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Successful coaches know that the best investment is ourselves — and when we continue to invest in ourselves, we reap the rewards.
I want that for you, and I know that this system is the best investment you could make in yourself. I believe you have the ability to succeed — and I’m honored to have helped so many others before you.
Here’s to your best investment — YOU.
- Mike R
If you don’t have systems, you’ll hit bottlenecks. When my facility hit a bottleneck with program design, using the systems that we learned through Mike Robertson brought my entire team into unison. You can’t have a unified gym when every coach is doing their own thing, without a cohesive reason. R7 adapts for each client’s goals, and to each coaches style, while giving us a framework that pulls everything together — so that our gym and philosophy is truly unified. It’s been invaluable for us.- Luka H.
This has really helped me streamline sessions - minimal dosage for maximum effect.- Jake
This is probably the most informative seminar ever. It filled a lot of gaps and questions I had in my knowledge. I’m looking forward to applying this all to my clients, and to myself as well.- Tom