The difficult client coaching technique that leads to transformational results (Part 1) (Interview with Tim Drummond)

Highlights from the interview

[03:26] – How Tim gave up Futures Trading to be a personal trainer

[06:27] – Getting faster results & charging $18k per 4-month transformation programs with Behavior Change Coaching

[11:16] – Could you be doing this wrong? How most trainers create pushback from their clients

[20:54] – Getting to $200-$300k/year without being overwhelmed with constant messages from clients

[33:48] – How to wait until week 4 of your program to have your clients log any meal…and still see 12 pounds of weight loss by week 6!


About our Guest

Our guest today is Tim Drummond. He went from being a Futures Trader to a personal trainer, and quickly honed his skills to be able to charge as much as $3,000 a month for his transformation programs.

Because of his success with training Top Executives and even celebrities, he went on to become a best-selling author and one of his books which is called Coach to the A-list.

Tim, using his behavioral change techniques, eventually transitioned his personal training business online while still charging $3,000 to $4,000 a month and was still able to see radical transformations in his clients.

Because of the results he was able to get and his passion for coaching, he’s transitioned his business yet again, and now coaches other personal trainers to build financially successful online businesses.


Edited transcription of Fitness Business Secrets Podcast, Episode 41

Kristy: Hey everyone. So this is fitness business secrets, and Tim is a special guest. He has done a lot with creating his own online programs and found a lot of success online after being a very successful offline personal trainer. And he has certain ways that he’s done it. So I’m just curious to find out his path to his own success.

And also what he is seeing is working online to create behavior change for your clients, and also to just make your program, your fitness training program online successful. 

How are you doing today, Tim? 

Tim: Very good. Very good. 


How Tim Gave Up Futures Trading to be a personal trainer

[03:26] Kristy:Cool. Thank you so much for being on the show. So my first question, reading, learning about you, I think you live in Malta?

Tim: I do.

Kristy: It’s on the other side of the world. 

Tim: Oh, what most people think. It’s in the Mediterranean basin. It’s hot. 

Kristy: Yeah. Okay. Well, it looks fun and luxurious. So,  you’re living the life. I know before you were living, I think it was at Hollywood? 

Tim: No I lived in London. 

Kristy: Okay. You live in London. I think I was just reading celebrity. So I thought you’re training celebrities. 

Tim: I’ve had a few clients. Yeah. 

Kristy: What was your start or what was your pre-online personal training life before your training online?

Tim: I think to be honest, it was probably just  what most people were doing. I just got into it because I enjoyed doing it. Before that I have a proper job. I was a futures trader, it’s a bit like working on wall street, but the equivalent in London and a really amazing opportunity to get a job  that out of uni. And most of the time, I spent reading nutrition and training stuff. So, I ended up just doing it because I just wanted to do something that I enjoyed.

So I went into fitness first. I don’t know what the equivalent over there was. The box gym. I just did it because I enjoyed it. So started in fitness first. I was pretty  good at it, reasonably good, straight away, reasonably good at building business and talking to people. And I was probably there for about five years. Yeah. I loved it. I loved being a personal trainer. 

Encountering the ideal client vs. the difficult client

Kristy: Okay. So what made you decide to start training? did you make that jump just to train clients online? Is that the next transition for you?

Tim: Well, first of all, I didn’t quite know this at the time, but I started to, I was charging a reasonable amount in the box gym I was in, I was probably charging about $10 or $15 more than everyone else. And then I really just enjoyed reading about nutrition, probably mostly nutrition. And then I started realizing that some of my clients would do everything I said, and some would do nothing literally. 

I remember  I had two clients at the same time. They started around the same week. They were the same age, same job. They looked the same. They were  both wanting to lose two dress sizes. One of them did  everything I said, and I thought, I was the best trainer ever, obviously.

And then the other one, which at the time I had a little bit of cognitive distance. She didn’t do anything. And I remember one day we were doing leg presses. And she’s just phasing, started saying, why aren’t I getting results? And I just, I try to defend it. I try to say it and I didn’t know how to deal with that question.

And then later on, I started thinking, well, why didn’t she? Because I’m telling them both the same thing now, of course, they’re individuals and slightly different programs, but I was still saying, do this, do that. And one of them just did everything. And she lost two dress sizes in nine weeks and the other one did nothing and left.


Getting faster results & charging $18k per 4 Month transformation programs with Behavior Change Coaching

[06:27] Tim: And I started just getting into habits and reading things, switch a mindset by Carol Dweck. And that was at the point where I started realizing I wouldn’t have called it behavior change, but I started realizing there’s more to this than just what I know about training and nutrition.

And bit by bit, I just started incorporating more of that and more what I ended up realizing was behavior change coaching. I then started selling very high priced programs in London. I was charging  $3,000 a month per client. And then I started doing some transformations and they were $18,000 for  16 weeks.

By the time I got to, especially the transformations I realized that you had to create your whole business model around, for me anyway, around something that’s fundamentally set up to get the best results possible for your clients. Not something that’s set up a client with you for eight years, and they never actually hit any of the goals that they set, because they will stay there by the way that they’ll keep paying you.

And it’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But what I realized a lot of marketers will say sell the result. So what I realized is when I could get the result in a short amount of time, then people are drifting along, doing a year of personal training and I’m actually getting a transformation. I could charge a lot of money.

And then I got up to what I would say is probably the limits of even the top people in London. I might’ve been able to charge a bit more. And then, this was back in the day online wasn’t particularly big. It wasn’t it is now. There wasn’t everyone selling this as mentoring and stuff, but I started working with a coach and basically he just taught me how to do it very quickly and showed me how to market and sell.

Why Tim thinks online personal coaching is better than face-to-face sessions

Tim: I was already a really good coach. So I already knew that I did a master’s level diploma in life coaching and personal coaching. So when I did go online, I felt confident to charge a lot of money. And partly because I knew that most of what I was doing with my clients was here and the training and the nutrition were important, but I needed to figure out what was going on on their head more than anything else, which for me was where online really stepped into its own.

So that was the step of actually doing it myself and I worked through a lot of brides. And had some real success in that online.  I just knew that there’s a lot of confusion, I think, with what online looks like. I just knew that actually it was better for my clients and my clients actually started getting better results than they did when I used the personal training.

So that was what, I don’t know, five years ago. I was sold pretty quickly on when you actually do it properly, the results your clients get. 

How to get clients, even difficult clients to change their behavior

Kristy: Yeah. So you moved online and when you train them, what was your service? Did you just send them a program with videos or did you actually train them virtually?

Tim: No. So I know that that was a big move that people were making three or four months ago. To be honest, I had a couple of my new clients and they panicked and I said, look, let’s just defend what you’ve got at the moment. So if you need to do Zoom workouts, just do it, but it doesn’t solve most of the problems of personal training.

It did in COVID by the way, but normally, it doesn’t because it’s not scalable. It’s a worse option. If you’re going to train people generally, than if you did it in the gym, you still have to work long hours and all of that stuff. So I actually went straight into, and again, looking back now, I had a lot of confidence in what I was doing.

It depended on the client.  A lot of what I teach now is based on the five years of doing this. And since then, but some of my clients didn’t get training programs until at least week six. 

And I realized that reasonably soon that as I talked to them on the first coaching call, which is  an hour on Skype, and I would start asking them, “What do you think your problem is? Why do you think you can’t lose weight? What’s been the biggest trouble over the last three years?” 

And it was never really about  Oh, well I don’t deadlift, or I don’t choose the right exercises or the right rep range. It was always eventually,  I have unhealthy habits around eating. I eat when I’m stressed. I eat when I’m depressed. I know I should do this but I don’t.

 And bit by bit, I realize a lot of it, I could just ask them, but what do you think you should do? And as I started doing that and I learned more about behavior change, I just realized  when they say it and it’s their plan, they’re way more to do it.

I actually studied this at university when I studied management. So if you go into a company and try and change a culture, you don’t just go into a company and go, why everyone used to do it  this, do it  that because they’ll do the opposite. Psychology of pushback. They act like children.


Could you be doing this wrong? How most trainers create pushback from their clients

[11:16] Tim: And I think a lot of fit pros, they just tell their clients to do stuff because they know it’s right. But the clients don’t do it.

And then often it’s actually, they’re almost they pushed back because they feel judged by the trainer, et cetera. So what I realized is that I would actually say things on the first coaching call, such was “What exercise have you been doing recently over the last six months?”

I’d have a way of framing it. A lot of the time, they’d just say nothing, nothing. And especially when you’re doing online, a lot of your clients, aren’t already in the gym. Which is very different from personal training. A lot of the time they’re doing nothing at all. And in my head in the system I teach now we use checkpoints and it’s basically week four and eight and 10.

And all I’m teaching my guys at the moment is by week four, you want your clients to be doing three 30-minute workouts a week. Which is much better than none, sitting on the sofa. And we tended to look, or I tended to when I first started out now, I tended to look a little bit more into the nutrition side.

And then what I would do is as I improve that towards the end of the 12 weeks, we would start working on things like program design. So I even did literally design the program with them on the call. What exercise were you doing? And they’d get excited, which one would you want to do next?

And so a lot of personal trainers and it would have occurred to me at the time. We’re so tied up in how important our knowledge is around program design that we think that’s so important. And we’ve also got results with clients in the past because we’ve got a program design. But I just realized if I can get my clients to be excited about exercise and working out, they’re going to actually do it.

Example conversation of letting your client lead the behavior change

Other things I did,  what do you want to do this week? 

And they’d say, Oh, I want to walk around the park. Cool. So I’m just going to do that. 

Sweet. How long? 

45 minutes. 

And then I’d just say, do you need anything for me? 

And they’re no, I’m good. I’m just going to run. I do the one walk. 

So generally, now the way it’s come is in the 12 weeks, it’s normally the last four or five weeks that we really work on program design, but it’s a big shift for a lot of trainers I think. 

Some don’t want to accept it. If you’re working with athletes, et cetera. Yeah, of course. That’s very important.

If you’re working with just normal people, their problem is they don’t exercise. That’s the biggest problem you need to solve and they hate it. So I would just trial and error, to be honest. 

How to coach clients who are already gym rats but don’t see any results

Kristy: Yeah. So, you were integrating just behavioral coaching with your programs and really your target market were the people who weren’t even at a gym yet who maybe they were afraid of going to the gym versus the people who are okay, I love the gym. I just want to get the six pack now. They’re so close. 

Tim: It’s interesting because that would be the perception you would get.

But then I also got clients that were total gym freaks or gym bunnies. And obviously I have a sales process and I had a conversation, but then it was expensive. So people generally weren’t coming to me if it was just yeah, it was still there needed to be a relevant amount of pain and struggle and something they wanted to achieve.

So, I had clients on a sales call, which then we were talking to me, ended up becoming clients. They were going to the gym five times a week. Yeah, there were still two stone overweight. If you actually think about the level of pain there, that’s higher pain than if you’re not going to the gym ever, and you’re two stone overweight because you’re actually doing something about it in your own head yet you still can’t get the result you want.

So in some ways, those clients are the ones that actually they’ve obviously even more driven. And what I tended to realize with those clients is that. I didn’t need to touch their training. The training wasn’t a problem because they were already doing five times a week. Where did the problem lie?

That’s where we started doing more of the intervention, which a lot of it is obviously nutrition. Sometimes it’s just a lack of awareness of  literally that damage and the calories.

That’s where we started doing more of the intervention, which a lot of it is obviously nutrition, but then it was why does someone drink too much at the weekend? Sometimes it’s just a lack of awareness of  literally that damage and the calories. Sometimes you would have to program design for them so they could go out on the weekend still. 

They just have to eat less in a week. Lots of different things around. So let’s say  emotionally driven eating. They they’re aware of it, but they’re not. So it did end up almost being  two camps. And again, I think the people that were in the, I’m not saying this is totally always the truth, but some of my clients work with a lot of very successful business owners, entrepreneurs, executives. They tend to play hard, work hard. They train really well, but something’s going on that they’re just messing up. There you go. They’re messing up they’re goals. Sometimes it’s  just shining a light on what’s really going on.

How to call clients out to keep them on track AND have them respond positively

Kristy: Hm. Yeah. So that’s interesting. A few other trainers that I’ve spoken to who are focused more on training right now. Lots of times they might even say you paid me to teach you and you’re not being coachable. So here’s your money back.  And that could work for some clients, right? They’re Okay. Okay. Okay. But you had more of a softer approach in your next thing might be, so what’s happening? What’s difficult? Why aren’t they coachable maybe in the beginning?

Tim: Yeah. And so, number one, I think that’s a reason, an ethical place to be, i.e. “What’s going on. You’re not doing what I’ve asked you to do. Here’s your money back.” It’s a lot better than just, I don’t really care. I’m just going to keep taking your money. And  you said, around the softer side. Well, yeah, but no, in some ways, because there’s a model in psychology called transaction analysis and basically it goes that — it’s the way that we interact with ourselves, but it’s also the way we interact with other people. 

So it goes adult, parent, child, and the parent, you can call, what’s called the critical parent. And it’s basically the conversations we have with ourselves. Plus the conversation that I have with my clients as a coach.

And you could be a bit, I dunno, you could be a bit stereotypical and say, well, you would expect that you would probably be softer with a female client than you would be with a male client. It’s actually not true. 

Men have a lot of struggles with, especially the most successful guys. They can never tell anyone about how they’re struggling in certain things.

So they can, a bit more nowadays, but they couldn’t back then talk about things like stress and stress would be the word. Now you’d probably get into more mental health and stuff. So, you have to know how to approach these situations. So even the most driven men in the world have some struggles that they need to be able to talk about, which sounds very soft.

But if you read that there’s a book called the charisma myth, which she talks about in there.  What makes someone very charismatic, which could also include quite in rapport, being a good coach is strength times empathy. Can you move mountains? Will you move one for me? So when you get clients to realize that your you’re doing this together, that you’re not telling someone what to do.

And again, this sounds very strange and it would have to me, but just telling your client what to do and then not doing it is not enough. As far as I’m concerned because if it was that easy, everyone would do it. Everyone would be rich. Everyone would be lean. Everyone would be sexy. Everyone would be happy.

That’s not the reality of the world. And it’s not the reality of how someone’s brain works. So when you can get into, and again, I’m going to use very successful guys. When you get into helping them, where they realize that you are on their side, you can tell them and call them out. 

What you can’t do is just call someone out all the time because they just they’ll push back. They’ll be “I’m not doing it”. And so, yes, you have to go the softer side, but it also allows you to bring up. I can tell my clients what to do and they’ll do it because they have that relationship with me, that probably a lot of those guys that you’re talking about don’t have, and by the way, maybe they also don’t want to.

So maybe they don’t want to deal with that. I was getting paid more than most people were getting paid. Why would someone pay you so much? 

How to coach so you can charge $4,500/month!

Kristy: What were you being paid? 

Tim: The most I charged for in-person was about $5,000 a month for about three and a half months. That was from one client. My online was about three grand up to about four and a half thousand per month for 12 weeks.

So I know people that charge more than that.  I’ll probably charge more now, but the key there is if you want ideal clients, which is what a lot of people want. Oh, I want the ideal clients who do what everything I say, get used to not being paid as well, because if they did everything, what you say, they would also do everything that the next guy says.

So you become a problem solver that solves problems for people that have been experienced in that for 10, 15 years. And you can change that in 12 weeks and really transform their whole mindset around that stuff. They will pay you incredible amounts of money. And the last client I took on, he had spent maybe $30-$40,000 on personal trainers in the past.

Never did anything. We worked a lot on his motivation, what things he values. We got the true foul on why he did certain patterns and where they came from and how we can change those. He lost 30 pounds. He thought I was amazing. Genuinely, he just couldn’t say enough good stuff. And he’s kept it all off as well.


Getting to $200-$300k/year without being overwhelmed with constant messages from clients

[20:54] Kristy: That’s great. So could you tell me then, do you have a specific approach? The outline that you used to help people process their challenges and my other question was within that process, besides eventually giving them programming.

Was your program essentially one-hour coaching every week where you talk through things or did you have messaging and other things in your program? 

Tim: I love that question. So I was taught by a marketer. And so a lot of this initially came from someone who was talking about scaling my business.

So he was yes, you have a coaching call every week. Some people call it a check-in on Zoom, et cetera. And what a lot of fit pros do is they think that they can just automate all of this, which you can by the way, but you probably can’t charge a lot of money for that. Well, you shouldn’t be anyway.

And so what we try to do, and I tried to do is streamline that time I spent with each client. Now I can charge a lot of money.  You probably can’t scale this model to  seven figures. That’s just not going to happen, but you can scale to a point where most fit pros would be happy. You can certainly scale it to a few hundred thousand dollars.

You probably wouldn’t do it to $500,000. Put it that way. But most fit pros, it’d be okay with a couple of hundred thousand dollars. So you need to get your plus point right and you need to get the amount of time. Now, if someone wants to become an internet marketer, and literally sit behind a laptop, just creating squeeze pages and all that.

This isn’t the right place for them, this programming and way of doing things. If you actually want to help your clients and you genuinely interested in it as much as we all care, but it’s, if you’re interested in, how can I take my ego gets involved here? How can I take a client who’s failed with eight personal trainers?

And I can actually get through to them. And I used to love it and we needed to create a model that was scalable. What I realized is that I and this is where I’ve got to now I created a template of how you deliver a coaching call. We call it the non-box coaching call method.

Example Flow of Coaching Call

Tim: And the aim is that you do everything on that call that they don’t need to email you, message you, Whatsapp you.  And I tell them they can’t. I don’t tell them, I asked them questions and there’s a flow of questions. So they realize that it’s their idea. So if you read into things persuasion and influence, telling is selling what they say is the truth.

So I would probably say something at the end of the first coaching call. But I’m not joking though. I’m assuming you don’t want to be working with me for three years time. I hate that when you, and they’d laugh and I go, I’m going to assess you though. I’m assuming you actually want this to be different.

You want to learn how you can do this on your own going forward.  I might even give them a little analogy about teaching people’s facial that, and they’d say yes. So, okay, cool. So can you see why it would be really beneficial if we do what we’ve done today, which is that we come up with the ideas together and you go away and you implement them and then say, yes.

Why would that be important for you? And then it depends on their level of self-awareness. How much of this you practice. A lot of the time they’ll go well, because I know that if I can do this myself, then I can do it forever. And they’ve probably been indoctrinated by some of my marketing or my client’s marketing. 

And so everything that you’re doing is around persuasion and understanding that they need to understand why it’s important to them. Not because by the way, I don’t want you to message me cause I’m really busy and I’m going to charge you $3,000, but don’t message me because I want to go to the beach.

It doesn’t look cool, but you can have a stream of questions where they’ll get it. Probably week three, I would bring them back,  do you remember we talked about it in week one and they’ll say, yeah. And I go, have you noticed that I’ve not actually been doing anything and it’s funny because they get it and I’ll be like seriously though,  who decided most of what we’ve done so far.

And they’ll always, they’ll say I did. And they, what they normally do is it’s a little light even the successful guys it’s this little I did well, why not pat him on the head? And then I’ll say okay, so going forward. How about we really start getting you to, because they know enough clients, clients know enough, they don’t need your complicated evidence-based stuff.

Setting values & expectations with the clients

Tim: Certainly not at the beginning. So the whole process is structured around what I call the values in the coaching call. So I do at the end of the call, tell them what they can, and this is what I teach, what they can, and they can’t do. Do you mind if I go over what my boundaries are? So I’ll ask them, I ask permission to say this or teach the guys.

And then when you do that, they’ll give you permission to be able to say this. And I’ll probably say something if you, it depends who the client is, by the way, if you email me on a Sunday, you ain’t getting an answer. Joke but it’s true, me saying my bad boundaries are that if you email me, I will get back to you, but it will be within 24 to 48 hours.

How to ensure success with just one short coaching call a week

And they’ll say, okay, do one, sign that, and then they’ll repeat that. The stuff I said earlier, well, I’m going to be doing this anyway, blah, blah, blah. 

The only thing I’d want is that I want them to be certain that they know what they’re doing that week. So when I’m setting the goals, they are the ones that set the goals.

The only thing I’d want is that I want them to be certain that they know what they’re doing that week. So when I’m setting the goals, they are the ones that set the goals.

I asked them, what do you want to do this week? So the way that we work is we’ll get three days worth of food diary and they bring it to the call and we screen share. What do you want to change? And they’ll always know, they’re not stupid. So they’ve really been engaged in the whole conversation. And then at the end of the quarter, remind me of what your goals were and about 20% of the time that people can’t answer.

Imagine if I hadn’t asked that question, they would have got off the call, not being clear. So the fact that I’ve asked the question, they have to be clear. If they don’t know, I’d be that’s fine. I know there’s a lot going on. So just remind me and I remind them of, and then I’ll say something  is there any reason why you can, that you can think of what you can’t do that, why you can’t achieve that this week?

I think objections you would have in sales, they’ll tell you. And probably the last touchpoint is when I’m setting the goals, I look at what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it and why they’re going to do it. 

So what is it that you’re going to do? I’m going to go to the gym three times.

How are you going to make that happen? Oh, and they’’ll literally be taking me through it. What time are you going to wake up? Why are you going to do it that? 

And they’ll say, because otherwise, I end up not going to the gym after work, it’s busy, et cetera. 

So I think that the structure for me is you have one short call every week and nothing else.

Software & Systems Tim uses to still educate clients

Tim: We have a way of systemizing. Some of the coaching, the behavior change coachings, or we call it our homework. But it’s coaching models that we use. We do systemize into a platform.  We use PT distinction, partly because of the way that we teach our clients’ very habit behavior change bases.

So we actually do it. We don’t want our clients dicking around having to figure all this stuff out. So we actually do it for them. They use my system and then obviously we teach them how to, it’s more a systemized way of delivering behavior change. So, that’s what they, the clients get. And I’m really sorry, I know you asked me another question. I got a bit carried away. 

Does it make sense to you? 

How ‘ethical persuasion’ helps you achieve your business goals

Kristy: It does. I’m going to use it on my boyfriend.

Tim: I did exactly the same thing. A lot of what I teach deep down is about persuasion and influence and ethical persuasion and influence just gets you more of what you want. You can talk to your children. I don’t have children, but I watch, I used to have Supernanny,  don’t ever ask a child a yes or no question.

Don’t put your clothes. Do you want to wear the red one or the blue ones today? But you ask your child that and they’ll say the blue, it just makes your life easier. And again, you can use this with your partners. Eventually my missus actually realized that she’s  without strip that question start.

Well, I’d go into  shops and I find it fun. And, my headphones are broken and then I was just  Oh, I’m going to have a bit of fun, not fun, but I’m interested in this stuff. And instead of just complaining, because they’re not very good in how long do you think the headphones should last? If I buy them from the shop, she’s looked at me  what a weird question.

And then she’s  and then I was  no, just how long should they last? And then she’s  well, six months. I was  awesome. Because I bought this four weeks ago and they’re broken already did for me. So now if you understand Maltese people, they basically don’t want to do anything. I think  they’re really nice, but they’re quite temperamental.

So you’d get into a discussion. So when you start to understand this stuff,  you can use it on boyfriends, partners, kids, anything you want sales, coaching. And it is just the power of  the underlying thing is questions are the answers.  You just shut up and listen to people.

I know I’m talking a lot today. If you need to shut up and listen to people and ask them questions, they’ll tell you what you need to know. 

Personal Training is Telling vs Coaching is Asking to create change

Kristy: It sounds you have a system,  because I think some people are thinking, okay, questions and they’re still not sure how to do this.

So is there a structure or other specific examples, or even just walking me through a call where you can give them more light on how to specifically use the question? 

Tim: A hundred percent. So, first of all, it’s just the understanding that questions are the answers. Personal trainers, what we do is we tell people things.

And when people want someone else to do something, we’re just programmed to just tell them, well, I used to do it and I’d get frustrated by the way, because I realized I was just insecure about the fact that I was not getting results with certain clients, I’m frustrated. I would be well, just get up earlier.

Just get up half an hour earlier. Why, what time you getting up now? Seven forty-five. You  get up at seven. You’re going to do that. Yeah. But it wasn’t even  Oh, you’re going to just, they don’t do it.

So personal training, it is a methodology of telling people things, right. Coaching is a methodology of asking questions and you can use guiding questions.

You don’t have to just leave them all up to them, but have you heard that protein is good for keeping you fuller for longer?

 Yes. 

Awesome. 

So how do you feel about incorporating some protein into your breakfast? 

Yeah, that sounds a good idea. 

Awesome. 

What do you want to eat for protein? So it could feel a really long winded way of doing it.

But what you’ll start to realize is that you create a very different dynamic with people when you’re not being seen. As I said, the adult, parent, child, the dynamic of most personal training relationships with clients, it feels subconsciously a teacher-pupil relationship. 

Which means number one, they will push back. Number two, they’re all lying to you. All of your clients are lying to you. And part of the reason they’re lying to you is that they don’t feel they can be honest with you because they feel they’re going to be judged or they just can’t be bothered with the hassle. Or you’re just telling them. And by this time they’re just, Oh boy. 

So when you can understand how to create a relationship where they feel you’re doing this together, they’ll tell you the truth. They’ll tell you their struggles and admit all the stuff that they’re not putting in your MyFitnessPal, because they’re lying to you.

If they say, Oh, I swear to you, I’m eating 1400 calories and I’m still not losing weight. That’s not true. So you can just understand as a principle level thing, that questions and the answers, it’s hard for personal trainers to do that. 

How do you find the time to teach them everything if you only ask your client questions?

Kristy: Yeah. And I think it also feels you said slower. I wonder if some people might think I would run out of time. We wouldn’t get to everything I need to share with them in an hour and take an hour to talk just about protein. How do you get around that? 

Tim: So, you’re right. That there is a structure and even the way that you frame that, how do I tell them all the things that I need to know? Well, ask yourself if you’re watching this, is the reason that your client overweight or not losing weight, because they’re not deadlifting.

I love strength training. I love deadlifts. Now my clients, every client that I ever worked with to eventually get to that point, but that’s not the reason why they’re overweight. So the reason they’re overweight is basically because they eat too much. So how much at first do you need to tell them and educate them?


How to wait until week 4 of your program to have your clients log any meal…and still see 12 pounds of weight loss by week 6!

[33:48] Tim: So for instance, I’ll give you an example. The way that I program using MyFitnessPal, what most people would do is they’re, they might ask the clients few questions on a welcome assessment, and then they’ll give them macros and attach a diet plan. It works for 20% of people, but with most people it doesn’t.

And if they say they’re following it and they’re not losing weight. There’s nothing wrong with your program. They’re lying to you. And often, sometimes, sometimes they’re lying to themselves as well, and they might not even know it. So the way that I do it is over the first in about Week 3, I just get them to download MyFitnessPal.

Which is exactly what you’d said. Well, and this is on the whole 12 weeks. Well, why does it take so slow? Because if you understand how hard changes for the human brain, you can really start to do it at the right pace. So I get them to download MyFitnessPal in Week 3

Week 4, I ask them to simply plug in the food that they’re eating for breakfast, because what it does is it takes it from  this thing that feels it’s not true by the way, but it feels  it’s taking over their life. They have to remember for 14 hours of the day, what they’ll normally do is they’ll not do it properly. They’ll push back, they’ll get annoyed. They refuse to do it. They’ll get emotional. 

So I can create a 10-minute window in their day where they’re just realizing that actually this isn’t that hard. So they come back next week and they’re “Oh, it was actually much easier than I thought. Awesome.” Yeah. But what about all the rest of the day? 

You’re already teaching them stuff. You already took some food out just from talking about  what should you not eat or don’t drink the cans of Coke for instance. So then the week after that, we program lunch. The week after that, we program the whole day. And most of the time, because change is hard, they keep up. And then at this point, we then start looking at how many calories. 

And generally speaking, I do two things. It’s  a calorie goal and a protein goal. But what most fit pros do is  you said, Well, is it quick enough? You probably lost your clients way before that anyway. So if you have the confidence and you charge up front, and this is a 12-week program, I know if I can get my clients tracking their food by Week 6 properly, which never used to happen when I just told them to do it from Week 1, I’ve got probably a pound and a half, two pounds each week of those six weeks from just taking some shit out of their diet, which is pretty obvious.

Now I can actually start individually tweaking things and they will be able to do it.  Learning a language you would never just go like here’s war and peace, learn that. That just feels stupid. So it’d be Week 1, learn hello,  goodbye, go away, practice that and come back. 

As far as in the coaching call and there’s levels to this, first of all, it’s  more habits. What you’ll eventually get at some point, then the more you do this, the more you get into the actual behavior change. You’ll have, what coaches call breaks or aha moments. You just have a client realize that they eat because they were unhappy. Now they probably know that, but they probably never told it to you or themselves.

And if you’re trying to fix someone at a level of  just the what foods to eat and they’re deeply unhappy, or they’re stressed at work, it’s never actually going to change it for the long term. So it actually ends up being a lot quicker. 

Stay tuned for the second part of this interview with Tim!

Tim Drummond

Facebook: Tim Drummond
Facebook Page: The Institute of Fitness Behaviour Change

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