The CAR’s Approach to Client Success

I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, but training clients and athletes is a weeeee bit different here in 2021 than it was this time last year.

Gyms are constantly in flux – opening and closing on a regular basis.

Clients are struggling to find their rhythm and get back into shape.

And one of the biggest issues I’m seeing is that large group training, as we know it, is effectively dead.

So where does that leave us?

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to give up my coaching career just yet.

So instead of complaining about the current landscape, I’m going to triple down on three items that I know can separate me from the pack.


I hope so…let’s dive in!

C = Connection

One thing that will never go out of style is creating a connection with your clients or athletes.

Have you ever worked in a gym, or seen someone coach, and thought to yourself:

How in the hell does this person have ANY clients?

If you’re reading this post, I can virtually guarantee you’ve had that thought before.

And I can tell you first hand I’ve had it numerous times myself!

Like back in the day when I was training at Cardinal Fitness, and saw the same coach train 4 totally different clients using the exact same program.

Or another time when I saw one coach literally take his client through every chest exercise known to man, in what amounted to a 60-minute all-out assault on this poor guys’ pecs.

So why do people stick with these trainers or coaches? It’s easy – they have forged a strong connection with the people they train.

They know about their dreams.

They know about their goals.

They ask questions about how Little Johnny’s baseball tournament went, or how Susie’s doing with her singing lessons.

It’s knowing that someone else in this crazy world cares about you and what’s going on in your world.

And sometimes, that’s even more important to someone than getting results (more on this below).

Now this can be a hard pill to swallow, especially since most of us here at RTS, IFAST and the like pride ourselves on being great technicians and getting the results our clients and athletes deserve.

And that’s not a bad thing.

Just remember that you’re training a HUMAN, not a robot.

Everyone is going through something right now, and they’re processing it in their own way.

So how you make that person feel is incredibly important to keeping them around long-term.

A = Accountability

I’ve hired all kinds of coaches over the years.

I’ve hired strength coaches to write workouts for me.

I’ve hired business coaches to help me develop systems, hire the right people, and (hopefully) make more money.

Hell, I’ve even hired personal/life coaches to help me get my priorities straight and help me become the human being I know I can be!

But when you talk about coaching, you generally hire someone for one of two reasons:

  1. You need strategies and tactics, and/or
  2. You need accountability.

In this first case, sometimes you hire a coach because you’re stuck – you need strategies to help you get stronger, get more clients, or simply understand what’s important to you.

But another – and potentially even bigger reason for hiring a coach – is because you need accountability along the way!

If you’ve been coaching for any period of time, think about this for a minute:

How many clients did you work with that knew all the strategies, tactics and tips…but simply hired you to keep them accountable?

This is a HUGE piece of the puzzle these days.

For example, I know first-hand that a ton of people gained weight over the course of the pandemic.

  • They knew how to workout and exercise on their own.
  • They knew how to eat properly, or in a way that helped them manage their weight.
  • They knew they should be getting more sleep and not binge watching Netflix ’til 3 am every night.

Yet they still came out of lockdown 10, 15 or maybe even 20 pounds heavier.

So what happened?

They lost accountability.

They no longer had YOU – their trainer or coach – to make sure they were exercising three times per week, or following their nutrition program.

So if you really want to make yourself stand out in 2021, don’t just be a strategies coach.

Take pride in being an accountability coach – and watch the results of your clients and athletes improve dramatically.

R = Results

Waaaaayyyyyyy back in the day when I did in-home training, one thing really stood out to me…

There were certain clients that I worked with years on end that saw little (or no) demonstrable change in their physique.

They didn’t really lose weight.

They didn’t get demonstrably stronger.

And they probably didn’t get much “healthier,” regardless of what metric you’re using to quantify that arbitrary goal.

So what gives?

Well luckily for me, these clients often put an incredibly high value on the connection and accountability pieces, with results languishing a distant third.

But I’d also argue these people were the exception to the rule.

In their case, many of them had the means necessary to hire me, and furthermore, other aspects of their life (such as their career) took precedence over changes in their physique.

It might be helpful to think of connection and accountability as the soft-skills necessary to be successful as a trainer or coach.

It’s showing up to work every day, treating your people with respect, and showing them that you truly care.

Once you’ve got that dialed in, it’s time to get serious about the hard skills.

Helping people lose weight.

Build muscle.

Develop their strength or movement capacity.

I think this is what the best trainers and coaches on the planet do – they find their own, unique blend between the hard and soft skills, the art and science of training.

Because while you might get away with training somebody for a while just based of those first two variables, at some point, you actually have to get them results.

(For the record – if you’re not getting results consider in investing in either IFAST University or my Complete Coach Certification. Both are guaranteed to give you the tools you need to be successful with virtually any client or athlete.)


So there you have it, my CAR’s approach to seeing more client success in 2021.

And while you could make it a goal to improve upon all three, I’d strongly recommend to start by focusing on just ONE.

What is one area you could improve upon to take your game to the next level?

  • Do you need to forge stronger connections with your clients?
  • Do you need to promote an environment with more accountability?
  • Or do you simply need to better understand the X’s and O’s of training and coaching to get better results?

Answer that question, the make it your primary focus to improve upon it for the next 90-days.

I guarantee your results will skyrocket as a result!

All the best,

P.S. – If you read this and still need some help, shoot me an email at [email protected] and I’ll do whatever I can to help you out!



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