When I first got started in personal training, I laughed at the idea of training people in their homes.  My thoughts could be summarized as, “How on Earth could they get a quality workout without the array of machines at the gym?”

I trained at the gym for a long time, and over the first few months I got several requests for in-home training.  It seemed like no one else was doing it.  The tipping point was when a sales coach friend of mine said he did in-home training years ago and did well.  I decided I’d give it a try.  The first year or so I hated it.  I had that voice in the back of my head saying, “These workouts suck.  You’re stealing from these people.”  This went on for over a year.  Although I kept running into clients who couldn’t train at the gym for whatever reason, I still didn’t feel good about training them elsewhere.  Despite the constant negativity surrounding it, I continued to train, growing my client base to a point of being very busy and forced to hire outside help.  Despite the success, I was miserable, because I didn’t think in-home and outdoor training was “right.”  I thought the gym was the only way.

About a year later, something happened.  An in-home client came up to me before her workout and said, “I’m getting a lot of compliments about my body from my friends.  My abs are really strong now.”  I was shocked.  It created cognitive dissonance in my brain.  How could these workouts possibly be delivering results?  And then I realized… they were.  They were delivering high quality results comparable to that of a gym setting.  And without the inconvenience of having to travel to a gym.  I was shocked… and elated.  After that my whole perspective changed from “I’m sucking value from people” to “I’m delivering value to people.”

The thing is, I’ve been working out in a gym for almost 20 years now.  I know every machine, the perfect form for the machines, all of it is deeply engrained in my head.  But the more I train people away from the gym, the more I see that this works just as well as the gym.  It just requires some creativity, planning, and lots of mobile equipment- Dumbbells, TRX, bands, the works.

The longer I train the more I get clients telling me that it is changing their life.  The key, just like training at the gym, is being consistent.  Even one day a week, if maintained over the long run, will deliver extreme results.  You must remember, that this is a lifestyle.  I no longer sell “packs of 10” sessions, because clients often do the 10, think they know everything, and then go back to their weekly routine of missing their workouts.  The clients who win are the ones who are in it for the long-haul.  So I would encourage you, if you can’t work out in a gym, to give in-home or outdoor training a try, and see what it can do for your life!

-John