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Personal Training Profits From Dax Moy


A Guest Post on Personal Training Profits By Dax Moy


I met UK based trainer Dax Moy at the Ryan Lee Boot Camp last month. I’m not easily impressed nowadays, but Dax impressed the hell out of me.

Here’s an article he sent me to share with you. AWESOME stuff.


Personal Training Profits Trough Your Clients

Forget SMART Goals…
Send Your Clients On A QUEST If You Want Them To Succeed

If you’re anything like most personal trainers you probably tend to think of yourself as a high-level motivator with the ability to help your clients achieve their goals faster and more effectively than they could themselves.

As such, you probably have a full arsenal of skills available to you to help you motivate your clients into taking actions that are in line with their stated aims. For example, you may have trained in NLP, Life-coaching or Health Counselling and use these skills in order to better help your clients to be more successful in achieving their goals.

Regardless of which methods of motivation you’re trained in, I know that chief among all of the skills you’ve been taught will have been the art and science goal-setting.

I also know that, if you’re like 95% of all fitness professionals, you’ll have been trained in the SMART method of setting goals that has you creating goals that are

Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Time framed

I know this because this is how I was trained and how thousands of trainers
that I have had the pleasure of teaching, assessing and mentoring have been trained too.

Everyone knows about SMART goals. In fact, some authors I’ve read go as far as saying that ‘if it isn’t SMART, it isn’t a goal’!

Now, 3 years ago I’d have had to agree with them but since then I’ve come to realise something that’s vitally important if you really want to motivate people. That something?

That SMART is all about the goal, it has nothing to do with the person at all!

What’s more, its insistence that a goal be ‘Realistic’ kills off nearly all the motivational power that the goal holds. After all, who wants to be realistic? Not me. I, like most people, am more inspired by the dream of what could be achieved than the reality of what others tell me is possible or not.

And that’s the problem with the SMART system of setting goals. It puts the trainer in the position of determining whether or not the goal can be achieved rather than asking the client what they dream of achieving. The difference is huge. It’s the difference between success and failure.

So, if SMART isn’t the answer, what is?

Go on a QUEST!

The QUEST formula is both a description of and a prescription for maintaining high levels of motivation toward the attainment of any goal. It’s a description because, in its truest terms a quest is a search for an answer (a goal) and it’s a prescription because if you follow every stage laid out below, motivation will never be a problem again.

QUEST stands for:

Qualify –The client for the goal and vice versa

People set fitness goals all the time. They say ‘I’m going to run a marathon’ or ‘I’m going to get a six-pack’ or ’I’m going to [insert goal here]’ and yet never achieve any of them. Often they never even take the first step toward achieving them!

Year after year these same goals seem to resurface and year after year they go no-where.

Why is that? Why are so many goals going either un-attempted or unachieved?

I believe it’s because most people fail to qualify both themselves and their goals for compatibility. They happily set their sights on something, often in the full knowledge that they don’t really want it (In a future article I’ll go into more depth about why this happens but for now just accept that this is so) or won’t do the work to get it.

I call this a problem with qualification.

In much the same way that an academic or vocational qualification is earned by gathering specific knowledge, skills and abilities in specific areas, so too do goals have their own qualities that make them more likely to be attained.

These are:

1. Need – There’s no getting around it, true motivation is caused by need NOT desire.

As much as we may desire to look a certain way or achieve certain physical goals, it’s unlikely that they’ll happen…unless we decide they need to happen.

Example; You’ve all heard the urban legends of grannies lifting cars off of loved ones or children carrying their unconscious parents out of house fires haven’t you? Sure, there was great desire for this to happen but it needed to happen too or these people would die.

Put these same people into a gym situation and ask them to lift similar weights and they simply couldn’t. Even if they had the desire to do so.

If there’s no real need in your clients’ goals then there’s less chance they’ll succeed. Full stop.

2. Desire – Although simply desiring something is not likely to make it a reality, still desire is vital to the achievement of any goal. What’s more, if used correctly, desire can be transformed into need, making it doubly powerful as a result.

So, how do we turn a desire into a need?

We make it a passion, an all-consuming passion, an obsession that you simply have to, need to achieve or you’ll go mad.

Just look at anyone who’s achieving great things and you’ll see the truth of my words. They’re passionate, obsessed, in love with their goals and THEY NEED to have them achieved.

How do your clients’ goals match up to that? Does ‘get a six-pack’ arouse this level of passion? If it does then great, if not then find something else to focus on.

3. Opportunity – It’s all well and good setting a goal to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, desiring it, needing it even, but if you don’t have the opportunity to earn the money to make it happen or to get enough training in before the event then it ‘aint gonna happen.

Ask yourself, ‘does my client have the opportunity to create the desired outcome?’ If yes, then you’re onto a winner. If no, then simply ask ‘can these opportunities be created?’

If they can then how? If not then you don’t really have a goal, just a dream.

Understand – Your client by empathising with their unique circumstances and the desire to reach the goals they’re setting

There’s an old saying that ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’. Applied to personal training this is a powerful prescription for success that’s often overlooked by most trainers.

We listen to our clients as they set goals, we ‘uh-huh’ in all the right places and we jot the goals down in our notes but how often do you ask the important questions like:

 Why is this important to you?
 What are you willing to do to make this a reality for you?
 What things are you NOT willing to do? (ALWAYS ask this!)
 How will you feel when this is accomplished?

Of course, there are many more but the important thing is that you really understand why the goal is important.

If you get a sense of vagueness from the client then sometimes just explaining to them what you understand of the goal is enough to get either a better description or a change of tack altogether to a more appealing one. In other words, your clients will gain a better understanding too.

Educate – Them on what it’s going to take to accomplish it

In my honest opinion, one of the biggest reasons for clients failing to achieve their goals is education.

Now, I don’t mean their academic prowess, that’s irrelevant, but rather the education they receive from their trainers regarding what will be required to make the goal a reality.

Too often, trainers will simply say ‘yes, that goal is possible’ and take on the responsibility for providing all the ingredients for making it happen. This is a BIG mistake, yet one that most trainers are making.

When I say ‘educate’ I mean Educate with a capital E!

Tell your client EVERYTHING necessary to bring their goals to life.

 Changes they’ll need to make to their diet, lifestyle and exercise
 Types, frequencies and intensities of training
 Things they may need to give up to get the result (smoking/drinking?)
 Equipment they may need to buy
 How much they may need to spend (joining a gym, hiring a trainer)

Quite literally educate them on every aspect of attaining their goals. Leave no stone unturned, that way there’ll be no nasty surprises later on that may cause them to drop their goal.

It may well be that once educated your client feels that the price of success in this endeavour is one that they’re not willing to pay. That’s fine. Remember, it’s their goal, not yours. You’ll have saved them months of time and effort and a massive dose failure if you make them aware of the cost of going for their goals.

Stimulate – Their Desire To Achieve Their Goals

If a client came to you telling you that they only visit the gym once a year and during that visit they spent 24 hours pounding themselves to pieces with every conceivable resistance exercise in the hope of getting into shape, what would you say?

If you have even quarter of one brain cell, I’m willing to bet you’d say that such an approach was ridiculous, poorly thought out and likely to lead to nothing but injury for anyone foolish enough to try it. It just won’t work!

So why do you do the same with motivating your clients?

You know what I mean. That huge hit of motivation you give new clients when they first start with you and then…nothing. Nothing of any real value anyway (Believe me ‘one more rep’ or ‘good set’ or the occasional ‘you’ve lost another inch’ are not motivation). You simply assume that your comforting presence and welcoming smile are enough maintain motivation.

C’mon people, you’re better than that!

If you really want to see a goal become a reality for your client then you need to stimulate their desire to achieve it. Not occasionally. Not once-in-a-while but EVERY DAY to have consistent Personal Training Profits!

How do you do that?

 Tell your clients to keep a postcard by the bed with the goals written on it clearly. That way the goal will be the first and last thing they see every day.
 Find out as much as you can about the goal and make it a game with points for who knows most about it.
 Send your client newspaper cuttings, site links, book titles or anything else that may be of assistance in making their goal happen.
 Have your client experience the achievement of related sub-goals so that they get a feel for the main one. For example, if the goal is to climb Kilimanjaro then you may have them climb Snowdon and Ben Nevis in preparation. The buzz (and training) they’ll get from completing these will keep them focused on achieving the big goal.
 Talk about the goal EVERY time you see your client.

As you can see, the aim of this is to stimulate the client into keeping their goal at the top-of-consciousness level of importance, creating what Anthony Robbins calls a ‘magnificent obsession’.

If you can help your client to do this then the challenge becomes fun and all of the work aspect of attaining the goal will seem to melt away.

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!

Test – Them against their goal on a regular basis

In my experience, failure to receive objective feedback about how well they’re progressing is one of the main reasons that a person will ditch their nutrition or exercise plans. After all, without feedback of some kind we have no way of knowing whether our efforts are leading to the success we desire or, conversely, whether we are investing time, money and effort into something that’s simply not working.

Without that knowledge we experience diminished desire because we have no idea how near or far the goal is and what is needed to achieve it. It’s like being lost in wild country with just a map showing only your destination and nothing else. Could you find your way home? Would you be feeling very motivated?

What if I put you in exactly the same spot with a detailed map, satellite photographs, compass and global positioning system? Would you feel more confident that you’d make it back ok? I bet you would!

Regardless of the distance involved you’d be far more motivated and confident because you’d know that every step you take is moving you toward your goal.

That’s what regular testing of your clients does!

It shows them exactly where they are on the map so that they never get lost. If they’re ahead of their targets they’ll be driven on by their success. If they’re behind, you can use that to motivate them to better efforts in the future but whatever the case YOU SIMPLY MUST TEST!

But what should you test?

Absolutely ANY and all variables that are relevant to the goal.

 Strength
 Endurance
 Agility
 Flexibility
 Body Composition
 Anthropometrics

And many, many more besides

The most important test? The goal itself!

Does it still motivate and inspire? If not change it so that it does.

In conclusion

There you have it, my QUEST formula for attaining any goal and motivating others to achieve theirs. As obvious as many of the stages may seem, it’s still the case that the majority of trainers either aren’t using them or using them with enough regularity to gain any of the powerful benefits they can provide.

I challenge you, and every personal trainer reading this to take your clients on a QUEST in your very next session and every session for a month. If you do, you’ll be astounded at the levels of newfound motivation in your clients and the stream of new referrals they send you.

So, will you give it a try? Or are you too SMART for that?

Dax Moy is a performance enhancement specialist and success coach based in London, England.

Voted one of the UK’s top fitness professionals and a regular contributor to Health and Fitness Magazine, FITPRO, Trax and other leading UK publications, Dax integrates holistic health with high-level performance coaching to bring about rapid results for his clients.

For more information about Dax’s programs visit , and or email him directly at

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