by Eric P. Fleishman
This past year was a doozy for personal fitness. With gyms closed, an overall increase in stress and home confinement constituting the new normal, waistlines expanded like never before. Many people claim that they’ve already gained “the COVID-19” in pounds by spending time on the couch watching their favorite shows, while others worry their way to the refrigerator each night.
It’s time for you to help your students and their families find their way back to looking and feeling like champion martial artists. To achieve this, they’re going to need the motivation and inspiration that only a martial arts teacher can provide. This is the secret opportunity the pandemic has created: You have the chance to help your students and their families unlock their inner action-hero bodies before summer rolls around. Presented below are tips for doing this while you increase revenue and enthusiasm in your dojo.
Get Everybody on Board
Host fitness classes that allow an entire family to participate together. This not only will generate more revenue for your school but also will cultivate groups that include many new potential martial arts students. Striving to make big changes in health and lifestyle is challenging, but it’s definitely easier when the support and commitment permeate an entire household. From moms and dads to kids and grandparents, getting everyone on the health kick creates a winning attitude and can bring big results.
Lead by Example
The best way to get people motivated and inspired to improve their health and wellness is to lead the charge. You’ve got to commit to being the poster child of physical change. It takes great effort and sacrifice to achieve the kind of earth-shattering goals you’re looking for, so the best recruiting tool you have is an invitation to your membership to join you on this journey of transformation. Your success will fuel theirs, and your enthusiasm will be reflected back. Great leadership starts at the top and trickles down the organizational chart; be that leader who strives to guide others to victory.
Give Them the Tools
To ensure your students see maximum success in their health and fitness quest, you must provide specific instruction. Specifically, you must help them understand the science behind change, which is the alignment of exercise, diet and sleep.
Exercise must be performed daily, ideally in and out of the dojo — perhaps a fasted cardio session in the early morning, followed by a rigorous workout in the dojo later in the day. Tracking these exercise sessions will help your students organize and balance their busy schedules.
Keeping a food journal will illuminate their eating patterns and help them stay focused. Reinforce the notion that not all healthy food is bland. Seasoning meals properly can stimulate appetite and ward off the temptation to cheat. Consider inviting a local chef into your dojo to teach some healthy cooking techniques and answer questions in an effort to make dieting fun.
Finally, remind your members that sleep ushers in physical transformation. Ideally, this will get them headed to bed earlier.
Make It Interesting
Imagine if ambitious families had the opportunity to win back a portion of their tuition based on their performance. How many more signups might you see? With this in mind, make the workout program a competition and track those who work the hardest for their transformation. Nothing ups the ante like a good, old-fashioned race toward a healthy cash prize. Embracing themes like “6 weeks to sleek” or “action star in 8 weeks” puts time parameters around the contest and gives participants goals to strive for.
Not every workout needs to be the same. Find ways to diversify the program by including elements of yoga, chi kung and HIIT training along with the traditional physical training long associated with the martial arts. For best results, award prizes for the biggest transformation in both individual and family categories.
Eric P. Fleishman — aka Eric the Trainer — is a Hollywood-based trainer of celebrities. In the 28 years he’s worked in the industry, he’s taught actors, musicians, MMA fighters and military personnel. He hosts a popular TV show called Celebrity Sweat, which is available on Amazon Prime. His message of healthy living has been adopted by many groups, most recently the American Culinary Federation.
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