‘Any fool can smash someone up in the gym, give them low calories and see the fat melt away,’ says Nick Mitchell. ‘But the skill is in sculpting the body…not annihilating’.
Hyperbolic as it might sound, the word ‘sculpting’ is most apt – Personal Training is an art form.
Creating a physique that lasts requires the adroit hand and keen eye of a sculptor.
Yes, Personal Training is underpinned by science and structure, but there is a delicate balance of intangibles that all great artists deftly combine to produce something spectacular and enduring.
Any trainer can beast a client into losing fat in the same way that any Tom, Dick or Harry can take an arty-looking snap on Instagram.
But the real value in an elite Personal Trainer is to be able to create a masterpiece that stands the test of time.
This is what Nick Mitchell is famous for with his industry-defining 12-week transformations at Ultimate Performance.
Being able to take a client with a busy career, family life, stressful job and 20 years of bad eating habits and give them a lifelong transformation is a talent few personal trainers in this world possess.
So how does he do it? What factors are at play? What’s the secret ingredient or X-Factor behind the success of every one of his UP transformations? And how has he been able to replicate this world-leading personal training model across 11 gyms and hundreds of clients around the globe?
Here’s what Nick has to say….
Who was your first client?
My first client was an impatient, always questioning and wanting more, royal pain in the ass. His name was Nick Mitchell.
How did it feel on your first working day as a PT?
Because I’d wasted way too much time in very serious gyms for decades before I became a fully paid-up professional trainer, my first day on the job was merely a very logical continuation on the path.
I have to admit though that my first few years working as a Trainer were typified by a burning, often unsettling desire to get myself to the point where I could have a career that I was proud of, as opposed to just working in a gym as a freelance trainer.
I think the freelance Personal Trainer business model is the single biggest factor that holds back the PT industry from becoming the great profession that it should be, but that’s a story for another day.
What key lessons did you learn from training regular personal training clients?
If you can make someone believe in you, then together you can do amazing things!
I could write a book on this question alone so forgive the brevity but it all boils down to applying knowledge (just “knowing” something means bugger all in the real world) in such a way that your client buys into it, absorbs it, and then acts upon it.
You’ve trained many people from many walks of life. Is there a correlating factor linking them all?
I wouldn’t say there is a correlating factor between them all; we are dealing with a diverse array of people after all.
However, I would say that there’s a correlating factor between all of those who enjoyed success working with me – namely, we developed a relationship of trust where they knew that I was invested in their progress, took their results personally, and would do whatever it takes to help them achieve their goals.
I am not describing a friendship, sometimes that can become a distraction, instead, it is more about being a trusted, often intimate adviser who is prepared to tell you the reality of a situation even if the client doesn’t want to hear it.
What are the three key adjectives you’d use to describe a UP personal trainer?
Invested, persistent, ambitious.
The 12-week transformation that you’re most famous for is a quick fix. Why does your product produce lasting results and others don’t?
From a physiological perspective, my results are reasonably sustainable because I never crash diet a client, give them dubious/dangerous fat burners, or put them on some hideous cardio regime where they are exercising for two hours a day.
Any fool can smash someone up in the gym, give them low calories, and see the fat melt away. The skill is in sculpting the body, and you do that by coaxing, cajoling and stimulating, not annihilating.
From a psychological perspective (which is arguably more important as the concept of metabolic damage from hard dieting has been thoroughly debunked) we ensure that results are sustainable through a number of methods, most notably not crash dieting in the first place so that the need to binge and stay out of the gym rarely arises; and post result care where we keep in contact with a client to ensure that habits are set in for a (hopefully) lifetime and set a new series of often performance-related, goals.