Recommend Barefoot Running?

Vibram FiveFingersBarefoot running has become very popular. Do you have clients that have tried it? Do you recommend barefoot running? While I believe in the importance of strengthening our feet and letting our toes spread out like they were designed to do…we have to be careful when recommending that our clients start running “barefoot.”

The bottom line is that our feet need to be strengthened just like any other part of our body, but running barefoot should be approached carefully and bit by bit.

Here is what I like to tell my clients when they ask me about this topic:

Exercises for your FEET:

Since most of us wear shoes all day long and many women wear shoes that keep their feet in a very tight, constricted position all day long, our feet become very rigid. But our feet are designed with multiple joints and have the ability to articulate like our hands – just look at someone who has lost the use of their hands and they quickly adapt the ability to use their feet to write, eat, and perform various other daily tasks usually done by the hands. So the message is, we need to make an effort to increase the movement and functionality of our feet.

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Posted in Practical Skills by Sherri | No Comments

Don’t EAT All That Candy!

halloweenSo fit pros….how many of your clients will be dipping into the Halloween candy more than they should? Almost all of them huh? Maybe you are guilty too 🙂 I know I have a hard time staying away from all of the sugar this time of year, but if I remember these tips it makes it a little easier for me, my kids and my clients. Share with your clients before Monday and happy Halloween!

Eat Before You Trick or Treat:

If you have dinner before you head out to trick or treat, you’ll be full and less likely to munch while you go..

Trick or Treat & Move Your Feet:

It’s a positive thing that Halloween gets families outside and walking their neighborhoods so ask yourself, how can you add more movement to your Halloween holiday? Schedule an outing to the Pumpkin Patch and walk the maze, search long and hard for the perfect pumpkin and participate in all the active options.  Can you trick or treat in neighborhoods where the houses are spaced further apart requiring more walking or in an area that is hilly to get your heart rate up? Can you host a Halloween Dance party? Can you go on walks before Halloween to check out all the cool festive house decorations? Head to the large Haunted Houses that require a good amount of walking and exploring. Plus getting scared gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing which is a positive response!

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Clients DO Have Time For a Workout!

FullSizeRender 7One thing we’ve heard from many clients is how busy they are.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day to get everything done!  The good news? That’s exactly what you specialize in right?… helping really busy people commit to their health and fitness so they can look and feel their best.  Here are the tips we give clients when they are short on time, but still need to get a workout in:

Move Your Body:

Focus on increasing your overall activity more throughout the day.  If we all just took the stairs more than the elevator, parked further from our destination and walked to do errands, we wouldn’t have to spend hours in the gym!

Avoid Distractions:

We can’t tell you how many times we see gym-goers zoning out while watching TV or reading a magazine.  If you want to maximize your workouts, put away the books, magazines and distractions while working out so you can focus on what you’re doing and get in and out of the gym more quickly. Read the rest of Clients DO Have Time For a Workout!

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YES! Clients Need to Warm-Up

Hey Fit Pros….didn’t you love watching the Olympics? One of my favorite events is the 100 Meter sprint. It is incredible how much training goes into a race that takes less than 15 seconds! Even on race day the sprinters warm up for about an hour for a short sprint race. This inspired me to remind our personal trainers and our clients about how important a proper warm up really is.

Share this info with your staff and your clients. Remind them how critical warming up is!

kneedipb2The body does not respond very well going from inactivity to intense activity. The cardio-vascular, respiratory, musculo-skeletal, and neurological and metabolic energy pathways need to be gradually stimulated in order to perform at an optimal level. You need to lubricate your joints, warm your muscles and connective tissue and slowly wake up your breathing and cardio systems. 

Muscles that are warm have a much better ability to extract and utilize oxygen to produce energy.  As muscles warm up, the enzyme activity level is increased.  This means that fats and sugars are broken down more rapidly, and more energy will be produced.  This will of course, enhance your performance.

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Take Care of Yourself – It is Your Job!

sherri-columbia-riverI recently came across this quote….

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

…and I shared it with my team to remind them of how important it is to take care of yourself. It is the only way we can give our clients what they need to succeed and what WE need to succeed.

Here is the email I sent to my team. Maybe you could share it with your team or your co-workers?

Hey team,

This quote made me think of all of us.  It’s so important that we are all taking care of ourselves…exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, managing our stressors…

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Why Clients Need to Train With You!

Need some info to send to your clients that will interest them and motivate them to work with you? Try sending them this article I just wrote for our local paper. Remind clients of all the multiple reasons muscle conditioning is critical. Share with potential clients as well….

muscle-class-sherri“As we get older, we tend to lose muscle – approximately 7 pounds of lean tissue per decade with this loss accelerating after the age of 40.

As a result, our strength and endurance is reduced, our metabolism drops resulting in weight gain, our bone density is lowered, our posture and alignment deteriorates, our balance falters, and we experience an increase in general aches and pains. So it is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that we do whatever we can to maintain our muscle tissue by participating in muscle conditioning exercise at least 2 to 3 days per week.

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Personal Training Client Performance Assessments

personal_trainer_with_clientWe require our trainers to conduct performance assessments with their clients three times per year. The months that these performance assessments will take place are listed in our yearly marketing plan that we share with our staff at the beginning of each year. Our personal training manager sends out reminders to our personal trainers explaining that they need to do performance assessments with their clients during that month.

Below you will find a copy of the form that is either already in a client’s folder or will be placed in their folder. If previous performance assessments have been conducted clients can see their progress. The first time conducting a performance assessment with a client provides a baseline to work from.

Clients don’t always love doing performance assessments and trainers don’t always love conducting them, but in the end your clients are working with you because they want to SEE RESULTS! They many see results by looking in the mirror, but seeing evidence on paper is powerful too. Read the rest of Personal Training Client Performance Assessments

Posted in client retention, results by Sherri | No Comments

Practicing Yoga Without Discomfort

Yoga is a strengthening exercise that can also have calming and relaxing benefits. While Yoga is just that for many of our clients….it isn’t that way for all of them. Here is a question I received from one of my clients and my response. I thought this info would be helpful for you and your clients!

“I really love Yoga but it kills my wrists.  Whenever my instructor brings us into Plank, Downward Dog, Upward Dog or Cobra while everyone else is finding their inner Zen, I am about ready to scream!  What am I doing wrong?”  G.D. Vancouver WA

Here is what I told my client:

“Surprisingly, you’re not alone!

Yoga, a program that is supposed to be gentler on the body and bring peace, calm and relaxation, for many people does the exact opposite.

Your ability to perform the below exercises without pain and discomfort, depends on a number of factors and with some yoga modifications you could practice yoga discomfort and pain free.

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Send Your Clients This 10 Min Workout!

Summer is starting to wind down and many kids are either back in school or will be very soon… but it’s still super busy as many of our clients are shopping for school supplies and clothes, filling out school forms and trying to get in a little more fun before the summer is over!

Encourage your clients to get at least some exercise in if the don’t have time to see you this week.

Send them this 10 min quickfix workout to remind them that you are thinking of them!  Tell your clients that something is always better than nothing and if you work it, 10 minutes can be an amazing workout!

“Complete each of the following 3 exercises for one minute each with a 30 second rest at the end of each of the 3 exercises. Then do it again 2 more times for a total of 10 minutes. Remember to take a few minutes to warm-up and cool-down and feel free to take breaks if you can’t make it one minute without stopping. Never sacrifice quality for quantity!

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Conduct On-Floor Trainer Evaluations That Keep Trainers Motivated

I recently published an article with PTontheNet that I want to share with you!



Learn how to conduct on-floor trainer evaluations that keep trainers motivated. Share with your team. Try it at your facility. Your trainers, your clients and your bottom line will thank you.

Yours in health, fitness & business,
Sherri McMillan


Registration is now OPEN for the 2016 Fall Fitness & Training Forum
Sunday Nov 6th – 1 Day Fit Pro Event – Portland, OR


Choose from TONS of different sessions.

Mingle with Pacific Northwest Fit Pros.

Lunch included.

No high travel fees.

New, relevant & immediately usable info.

0.8 CECs/CEUs


BOPTbooklets 225x300 How to Gather Email Leads OnlineDid you know that I wrote the ONLY complete training business  system designed to help you run a million dollar personal training business?! You can have this same business system that will help you work SMARTER and generate HUGE profits like we do here at Northwest Personal Training. The fee to purchase the Business of Personal Training System can be made up within 1 month of increased PT sales and there are NO recurring franchise or licensing fees. A comparable business system in other industries would require an initial investment of tens of thousands of dollars.  

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