9 Steps to Starting your own Fitness Program

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How to develop your own fitness program
I receive emails and messages daily in regards to kettlebell and body weight training. So, in my next few articles, I will try and cover the questions that I get the most.
“How do I create my own fitness system/program?” is one I was asked since the release of my first DVD Combat Kettlebell systems. Im actually surprised that I haven’t covered this topic already!
First of all, I never sought out to create my own kettlebell and body weight training system. This is the difference between me and all the other people trying to cash in on the fitness industry. I developed Kettle-Jitsu out of necessity.
In an effort to find a fitness program that fit with my gym at the time, one of my business partners suggested we get a kettlebell instructor. I heard great things about them and had no knowledge on how to use them. But I was smart enough to know that in needed some type of instruction to learn to use them properly. So, I agreed and was eager to learn!
My business partner Bill, found an instructor that was certified by the biggest kettlebell instructor at the time. So, we started a once a week kettlebell class with him at my gym SoCal MMA and fitness. We learned the basics. He covered the dead lift, swings, cleans, Turkish get ups and snatches. These were all new to me so, at first, I was really hooked! But, it didn’t really progress from there. It was the kettlebell basics over and over.
As a result, I got bored and so did my students. I really felt there was more kettlebell variety out there. So, I started researching it on the web. To my dismay, I saw very little variety.
Then one day, I was lying in my room, which was in the back of my gym, (yes, I lived in my gym in its early days!), I had an epiphany. I though, I bet you could combine some BJJ movements with the kettlebell. I jumped off my bed, and went into the main mat of my gym and grabbed a kettlebell. I was right! The kettlebell flowed so naturally with the BJJ movements.
So, every morning, I woke up extra early to put myself through a different kettlebell workout. I incorporated all of my innovations into each workout. Then I started integrating it into my boot camps with my students and fighters. They loved it! This is what separates my programs from others. Every single movement and workout I have developed has been a result of direct feedback from my students. Your pupils are your best critics! If your classes are growing and you are retaining students, then you’re doing something right!
Kettle-Jitsu has been 10 years in the making and is continuously evolving.
So, this is how I developed Kettle-jitsu. Not everyone has the convenience of owning their own gym and having students to test their workouts on. So, if you think that developing your own fitness program is something you want to do, then here are a few tips.
1. Master your basics. Online certs like NASM and what not in my opinion are scams. You cant learn fitness from a computer. You need an actual person to show you what and what not to do. So maybe you should do some sort of kettlebell and body weight certification. That way, you have something to build off. Its kind of the same process with martial arts. How do you think there are so many different styles of martial arts? One person becomes proficient in one style. Then he or she, starts to develop their own philosophies and adds their own twist or emphasis to it.
2. After you master your basics and start developing your own workouts, test them on yourself first! Every workout, every exercise I have ever developed, I tried myself before teaching it to my students.
3. Start a small boot camp. Think of it as a test group. Teach your new workouts on them and see how it goes. Ask opinions from your clients. If you have any intention of pursuing a career in fitness, you have to listen to your clients. They pay their hard-earned coin for you to train them. If they like you and the workouts, they will keep coming and are likely to bring friends.
4. Come up with a catchy name for your program. To be honest I’m not even sure how I came up with the name Kettle-Jitsu. But I do know that ever fitness program was fit, this and fit that. So, I didn’t want to jump on the band wagon and come up with an obvious name. Not my style😉
5. Next you should start a business page on Instagram and Facebook. We are in the age of social media and it helps tremendously. Social media is great for various different reasons. It gets your material out there and is a great way to promote your products. Facebook and Instagram now make it fairly easy to run ads all by yourself.
6. Start a website. People need a place where they can go and learn more about you and what you do.
7. If your small boot camp is doing well, you have the options of offering your services at some sort of fitness or martial arts gym. Or, your next option would be to open your own studio. Obviously, the latter is a bit more difficult because of the money factor. But, I know a lot of trainers that earn a living by teaching boot camps at various different gym.
8. Sell your programs online. This means, filming your workouts and putting them up on your website for sale. There are numerous ways to do it. You can do it digitally, or you can do a DVD. I could probably write a small book on this subject! Maybe in another article😉
9. If people are purchasing your programs online and your boot camps are doing well, people may ask you how to get certified in your methods. I never thought in a million years I would be doing a kettlebell DVD and certifying people. But after I released Combat Kettlebell Systems, I started receiving emails asking how to get certified in the CKS system. That’s how it

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How to add value to your MMA or BJJ gym

Almost 8 years ago, me and my business partner decided we would open up and mma gym. So obviously we had to come up with a name. We settled on the name SoCal mma and fitness.  I have been training my whole life in martial arts, sports and fitness. So I really wanted to create a one stop shop where people could come train in all the different disciplines of mma. But I also wanted to cater to people who just want to get fit.  Back then I had a descent background in fitness. But I can honestly say I was just flying by the seat of my pants when teaching. Although I still put on some good classes, I hadn’t really developed my own formula for training people. So I eventually starting developing Kettle-Jitsu. My classes started becoming more structured and it became a lot easier to teach classes. The classes also started to grow! The same goes to my assistant trainer Chris as well. He started to develop his own style. He also got certified in Training for Warriors, Martin Rooney’s training system.

Now, the fitness classes are the biggest draw at my gym.  A large reason is because great fitness classes attract a lot of women. Women do everything in groups and pairs.  Have you ever notice how women always go to the bathroom together.  They need that same support with working out. Women almost always come to the gym in pairs.  They are also the best at referrals.  If a women enjoys the class, she will tell her friends about it.  I once had a women try out my evening 6:30pm class. Then she showed up with 3 friends the following morning at 5:30am!

My whole point behind this is that if you only cater to mma folk, or only Bjj people, you really limit your demographic. If your gym says Cageside MMA, who do you think you will attract? You will definitely not attract women. So I do think it is important to name your gym accordingly.  With SoCal mma and fitness, adding the word fitness welcomes people who want to get in shape. My second point is to have a solid, proven fitness system at your gym.  By having a great fitness program, you attract women and women are great at bringing in business.  At my gym we offer 2 solid fitness systems. Kettle-Jitsu and my trainer teaches Training for Warriors mixed with his own stuff. People really appreciate the variety.

So to sum things up, my 2 ways to add value to your mma or bjj gym are, 1. Choose the name of your facility wisely. By choosing the right name, you can widen your demographic.  2. Choose one or more fitness programs.  Solid fitness programs keep people in the doors and increase referrals.  so it may be wise to find a couple of reputable certifications to do. cert