Brandon talks about the wider benefits of pushing boundaries, reaching your full potential, his style of performance training and how he has become more specific in delivering programmes for all level of his clients.
He also talks about the business of personal training including how he manages his calendar to maximise utilisation, the importance of managing cashflow in a service based business and how he’s using Snapchat marketing to start new conversations with his training clients and to reach a wider audience.
PLUS Brandon also gives some practical advice for business owners, taking time out for yourself, handling stress and why the journey of improving fitness is as important as the destination.
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Ryan: This is the Ryan Marketing Show, and you’re listening to episode 29 of 100. Today, I’m joined by Brandon Campbell from Brandon Campbell Training and we’re going to be talking about a subject that, really anyone who is in business or wants to get at the top of their game should be interested in and that is the topic of fitness and peak performance. Now Brandon, you’ve got quite a number of years of experience here, you’ve trained top level athletes, you’ve been a sports performance coach, you’ve developed conditioning programs, you’ve worked with the New Zealand Futsal White Team and more recently the Hawke’s Bay United Football Club for the last seven years. Throughout all this you’ve also obviously helped your own personal training clients, how much throughout that do you feel with those types of roles, how much of performance is based on what’s happening in the mind versus the body?
Brandon: I’d say with the, 100% of it is all mind and body. If you look at athletes, you know like with the olympics going on, that’s a huge huge aspect of it so it’s all about confidence at the end of the day right, so if you’ve gone through the process and you’re fit and feeling healthy, you’re going to be more confident in the ability that you have to do things. Likewise, you’re going to actually feel better and feel more refreshed if you’re fit and healthy when you go to do those tests, so they 100% cross over and go hand in hand with each other.
Ryan: And if someone hasn’t had that personal training experience, what in your experience causes them to pick up the phone, email you, get in touch and say, hey Brandon, I want to make a change here.
Brandon: That’s probably the coolest part of my job, everybody’s so different you know, some people it might just be they saw a photo of themselves from the weekend and they just had that realization, oh man. Other people come in because, they’re just tired of being sore, or tired of being tired, so I don’t have people actually come in too much as a personal training client that necessarily have a goal like, hey I’m going to do this triathlon. More people come in because it’s just something is finally been the straw, that little bit of extra push where they’ve just gone, no I need to do something about this, so that’s probably the coolest part.
Ryan: So they’re really moving away from a current situation that they don’t like rather than moving towards something that they want to do.
Brandon: Yeah, absolutely. So they’ve finally, a lot of the stuff is, you’re not going to change anything until you’re ready to change it, and we get that a lot with, pretty much everybody knows that cake isn’t good for you but we’re all going to eat cake you know, I eat cake too. (laughs) So it’s not going to stop you from eating cake until you literally make that decision of, hey I’m not going to eat that right now, so everybody has their different markers and when it clicks I just try to help them and support them as much as I can.
Ryan: Okay so they’ve made that decision, and they go down that path of bettering themselves, do they then, do you find clients then regress back and change their mind, they don’t really know, how do you then keep that going?
Brandon: Yeah, so I’ll go through and we will set a couple different goals and we really try to plan it out, so what’s a four-week goal, what’s a eight week goal, twelve week goal. Where do they want to be in six months? I try to re-enforce that as much as I can in the session, and then also try to get them to realize the little things that have changed so a lot of people come in, they might want to lose weight. Let’s say we had a goal of five kilograms, and they’ve lost three Kgs but during that time they have less low back pain, it’s easier for them to move, they have more energy. Over the weekend they’re doing stuff with their family that they hadn’t really been doing, it’s getting them to pay attention to those smaller things that are happening on the way to losing that five Kgs that I try to get people to focus on more, because that keeps them going. Those are the things that people don’t even think about, like no body goes, oh hey I’ve lost three and a half Kgs and last weekend I went for a big walk with some friends then rode a bike and I also painted a room in my house. Nobody really focuses on the fact that they just did all that, whereas six, seven weeks ago, they probably wouldn’t have had the energy and the ability to do all that in one weekend but people will focus on the five Kg aspect. It’s like, well the five Kgs, we’re going to get there but in the meantime, look at all this other cool stuff that is happening.
Ryan: Right so the numbers just a number, the journeys as important as the destination.
Brandon: Yeah absolutely.
Ryan: What should then business people be doing to be operating at their best, do you see the same type of results for business owners or employees, do they kind of have that same, taking it for granted as they’re going through that journey?
Brandon: It might not even be a physical aspect of it, business owners, especially if they are a younger business owner, you’ve got that benefit of youth on your side where you’re maybe not necessarily gaining the weight as much but mentally that is probably the biggest aspect for people that are involved in business and business owners, like if you’re stressed. Stress is a perfect example, so when you’re stressed out, you have that flight or fight response so if you get a call from your boss at three in the afternoon and it’s like, hey I need this by four o’clock, well you start to stress out. So if your body’s going through that response you’re going through an adrenaline release, so everything, your blood pressure increases, heart rate increases, well normally if that’s happening, you should be running away from some sort of predator or something’s happening.
That’s how nature has created it, but nowadays we get that stress and we’re just sitting there and we have no outlet for it, so what happens to counteract that your body has to increase what we call cortisol and that has to drive you down and drop you down and get you back down to a normal baseline or even below that, but over time, you end up just accumulating and accumulating and you can’t clear all that out so if you don’t go and exercise you’re not going to have that release of all that energy.
Ryan: So is that what then causes either the injuries or the health issues?
Brandon: Absolutely, you just end up having, basically your body becomes resistant to cortisol, sorry to adrenaline, you don’t get that heart rate decrease, your heart rate stays up, now your blood pressures staying up and then you’re not feeling why you’re getting headaches. You go to the doctor, what does the doctor do? Here’s some pills, right, well that’s just a short term solution, and that’s going to drop your blood pressure but the things that are causing that are still happening so if you don’t go and exercise you’re just not getting that release. You’re not getting that mental clarity, as well so, taking that time out for yourself is probably one of the biggest things that you get out of it, because if you’re running a company and dealing with a couple hundreds or even just ten employees, how much stress do you get out of those guys?
Ryan: Absolutely and that’s what a lot of the business owners that I talk to, the challenges they have are the ones unforeseen and they’re usually people related and I’m sure that would be building up that cortisol and that stress level so being on top of the fitness is one way of countering that.
Brandon: Yeah absolutely, so you know, and it doesn’t even necessarily mean that you even need to go to the gym, even if it’s like go outside, that’s a lot of people. One of my recommendations is, hey at morning tea, afternoon tea, lunchtime just go for a walk outside like, if you’re sitting at your desk all day long, it’s going to stay stressful, work focused. If you have your morning tea, afternoon tea, just grab it and go outside and sit on a bench in the sun, what a difference you know you’re going to feel so much better just by taking that time out and just by enjoying the day and what’s going on. Even if it’s for five minutes, I guarantee you’ll come back in way more refreshed.
Ryan: Well that’s an easy, like one sentence, pretty easy that anyone can go do right now.
Brandon: Yeah, well if you’re sitting in a desk right now, you can definitely go sit outside in the sun. Or just go for a little quick walk around, like get up, stretch yourself out, release those muscles, get the blood flowing through everything, you know and just take that five minutes away from whatever is bringing you down, and refocus.
Ryan: Now a question more on your business and your own knowledge levels, technology is seeming to evolve every business at the moment. How do you as a personal trainer go about investing in your own knowledge and knowing what’s the right direction for your clients and where should you be taking them?
Brandon: I’d say, for me that’s just my own philosophy, so my philosophy is performance. I want you to perform, and whether you’re an athlete who obviously has a specific task that they need to do or you just want to be able to play with your kids more on the weekend you know, or your grandkids, so it’s however you want to perform. That’s what I look at so because of that I do try to upscale myself more along strength and conditioning type of things for teams because most of the stuff that filters down anyways, comes from those top level athletes. The training that those olympians are doing or the super rugby players, the A league players, all that stuff eventually filters down and that’s what creates most of the kind of upscaling or courses or training styles that most PTs (personal trainers) are doing anyway so rather than wait for it to filter down I’ll just go straight to the source and get up scaled through something like the Australian Strength Conditioning Association.
Ryan: So on that what are a couple of things that you’ve learnt recently that, you know, you’ve got that filled down effect and you know that knowledge now?
Brandon: So I just recently went and did the level two course over in Melbourne, so that was really good because one of the main take away for me was just being more specific in terms of how we’re programming for people, how we’re delivering it, and what outcome you want out of what you’re doing. It’s just that extra specificity as opposed to you know, hey come on in we’re going to do twenty burpees today to warm up, like, burpees are not a warm up. So just that more focused, specific aspect is what happens at top level and so, even though my personal training clients aren’t top level athletes, some of them are, but for the most part they’re not, it’s like well why can’t I still be specific and have a good target for them and create a solid plan that’s going to get them there? I do that anyway, but it was just a good eye opener to see that it can be done to another level again.
Ryan: So you’re taking that specific granular approach that a high end sports person may have and just applying it to your current clients.
Brandon: Yeah definitely, and at the end of the day it sets me apart from other trainers that might be in the area, but at the same time for me, I know that I’m doing that and it’s going to help better me as a trainer and it’s going to be a better program for them because there’s actually a path for them to get better. It’s not just going to be that plateau eventually like there’s always going to be ways we can get better because we’ve been so specific throughout it.
Ryan: Now, personal trainers in general have pretty full calendars, you guys are always either training, or eating, then go and train someone, or training yourself and then eating some more, how do you make time then to work on your business and work on your marketing?
Brandon: You’ve got to schedule it in which is tough because then sometimes somebody will come along and maybe want to train in your scheduled time. So that’s probably something I could improve on myself personally is not moving that around, but it’s something that you’ve got to do in that business aspect of it from personal training is that big missing piece in the puzzle for a lot of people.
Ryan: The accounts or..
Brandon: Oh the accounting, the marketing, that kind of thing so that’s probably where most trainers fall down over all.
Ryan: Right because they’re passionate about the training part, but they’re not necessarily skilled or experienced or passionate about the actual business running part.
Brandon: Yeah absolutely so that’s one of the things like I’ve definitely had to improve on myself, over the past two years.
Ryan: And what are some of the big learning points along that path?
Brandon: Just the scheduling, kind of like you just asked, like how do you get that in there, you definitely have to schedule that time and just how I track my business in how it’s going. Sessions per week equal x amount of dollars but who’s paying weekly, who’s paying fortnightly, who’s paying monthly, who’s paid it all in full so what’s in my account doesn’t necessarily reflect what I’ve done for that week, because I’m service based so once I’ve delivered the serve then I get paid for the service. That’s probably the biggest struggle because, things happen, people get sick, people get injuries and so when you’re training, you might plan out, oh you’re earning x amount of dollars in y amount of weeks but z is actually, well it took you three to four weeks longer to finish that package.
Ryan: I guess that’s always the challenge is that with a service based business, your bookings, your utilization, is always best case. It doesn’t get higher than that, there’s always is a cancelation from that so it’s always a percentage lower.
Brandon: Yeah, absolutely, so I tried to have almost six hours extra booked a week so if I have like no cancelations that week, I am trying to sleep in on Saturday morning. If I’ve had cancelations, then it’s probably a more normal week which is another time so if I get a cancelation that might be when I’m going to do my workout but it’s generally when I try to catch up on the paperwork side of things so I have some set times for it but then also I’m trying to use my time as wisely as possible if I get some sort of cancelation coming through.
Ryan: Got it. Now I’ve seen on your Facebook page you’ve got, one of your posts is around Snapchat and to follow you on Snapchat and for those listening that don’t know a lot about Snapchat, it’s got a great video capture feature to be able to tell stories, how have you used that to share what you do in the gym or with clients?
Brandon: That’s been really cool, to be honest I was a bit nervous about it at first because I want to be focusing on the client and not necessarily doing a video or something but everybody was actually pretty receptive to it, because then they could go and see themselves a bit later, and then from there I started building on just trying to give some advice and I had people message me back about, what I was talking about or my clients were watching it and they would come into the session and ask me a bit more what I was talking about.
That actually opened up more avenues of how I could help people because some people who are maybe struggling bit with nutrition but hadn’t necessarily been willing or open to talk about it with me, suddenly they’re like, oh what’s the apple cider vinegar drink you’re talking about? So should I stop eating my carbs, when should I have my carbs, when should I have my fats, those are the types of things that were coming back just from my clients and other people that I’m not even training are messaging me and asking me about that stuff so.
Ryan: So you’re kind of using it as a way to kick off conversations both with your clients and for people that just follow you, for a bit of knowledge or inspiration.
Brandon: Yeah, absolutely, and you never know from that marketing aspect, if I’m helping John down six, seven, eight weeks, I kind of even go twelve weeks. Like the person I’m talking to in the gym, I’m helping him out being friendly but I know that from my experience that in twelve weeks or even six months when that person decides to make that change, if I’ve done a good service and I’ve tried to help them along the way or just been there to support them, even just giving them a high five or something like that, that persons more likely to come to me. So that’s what Snapchat’s let me do outwardly and then with my clients, it’s what are they doing outside the session, so now it’s where I’m interacting with them outside the session.
Ryan: Right so you kind of get to keep a bit of an eye on them to see what else they’re doing.
Brandon: Yeah well, if they’re asking me questions about it then I know that they have that greater interest and they’re ready to maybe take that next step forward, and get a bit more strict on their nutrition or just learning how to do things maybe differently that might benefit them, so it’s that opening of the doorways and definitely helping get some better results just by fifteen seconds of video on my phone.
Ryan: Nice when your calendars so full, being able to do that in those very short moments.
Brandon: Yeah, it’s just the same as getting a text message through, so it’s just like texting somebody back real quick except sometimes it’s texting six to eight people back. And there’s other things, I’m definitely not a Snapchat master by far, so don’t feel like you have to be a Snapchat master if you did want to try it out but there’s stuff I still look at other people’s and I’m like how did they do that? Just using it for the video and having a play, people get to see me be me as well, and I think that’s always a positive like I don’t try to put anything on there that isn’t me so if we’re having family ice cream probably family ice cream is going to show up on there. Which is always good cause’ then people message me like, you having ice cream, I’m having ice cream.
Ryan: It’s been great to be able to build that repore.
Brandon: People know if we get it right 80 percent of the time, we don’t have to necessarily worry about the other 20 percent as long as that 20 percent isn’t like a 200 percent blow out. Which is a good way to think about it.
Ryan: So if someone’s listening and has liked what they’ve heard and they’re thinking, this is the moment, this is the moment I need to change, I need to do something about where I’m at, what’s the best way of getting in touch with you or where do you normally start with someone who’s at that point?
Brandon: I mean they can get in touch with me through Facebook, it’s probably the easiest way like my training page Brandon Campbell Training. I’ve gotten a few people through that just messaging me and we try to meet up with them for coffee somewhere or even just get them down to the gym, so I’m based at Anytime Fitness. On Kennedy Road and Georges Drive, so I’d just get them down there and it’s pretty good just letting people come in and let them see the facility and try it out, which is been really good and helpful for me cause’ it’s not like there’s a charge to come see me and sit down and talk about your goals. So that’s something that I’m happy to do, some people actually get what they need out of it and they go away and do it, so it’s like cool, that’s great.
Like I said, if I help them out, that’s awesome because that’s what I’m here to do. You choose to empower everybody to perform at their best, so if they go away and then they start doing great on their own, awesome, and to me it’s like well that’s 30 minutes or 60 minutes but at the end of the day like you said, when they’re ready for more, if my advice has hopefully been helpful for them then they’ll come back and see me.
Ryan: Nice, now we’ve talked a lot about everyone else and they’re peak performance and how you can get them to be conditioned to the next level, what are, just before we finish up, what are some of your own personal goals, where you want to go with your fitness and performance?
Brandon: Oh my fitness and performance, I still need to nail down this like having some size but also being ripped type thing, I’ve gotten really big and strong before like not necessarily all good muscle big, there’s definitely some fat over the top of that, and I’ve gotten really lean with some good definition but I still need to get that middle ground down where I have some good size and some good definition but in saying that, the body building thing is appealing but it’s not totally attractive because I like to perform. I like to go out and do my runs, and be able to go play some sports that kind of thing so it’s just probably perfecting that for me and how it works in my lifestyle because what I want is specific so I need to get specific with it and factor that into my lifestyle so there’s no cookie cutter way to do it, I just need to nail it down probably but I did a marathon this year which was crazy cause’ I’ve been on record saying, I will never run marathon. So I ran a marathon this year.
Ryan: What was that?
Brandon: That was actually not too bad, did lots of preparation for it and had done everything right, had the nutrition right on the day and did it with one of my clients and yeah, the last twelve K was pretty tough but we pushed through it and we crossed that line and yeah, it’s pretty good sense of accomplishment. So yeah, it’s been good.
Ryan: The marathons are tough, I’ve done one before and I don’t think I would do another one so that first 30 K it’s a lot about the prep you’ve put in for the previous twelve weeks, but that last five to ten K, it’s all in the mind.
Brandon: Yeah, there’s a huge mental aspect to it and that comes back to again, kind of what we talked about at the start, if you’re keeping yourself fit in health mentally you have such an advantage, you have that extra confidence so when things do get tough and start to hurt in that race you can be confident that you trained and you’re ready for it, kind of the same thing like if you’re busy and you’re bogged down and you’re keeping yourself fit and healthy then you know you can handle it. Your body’s going to more prepared to handle it so you’re going to get through that.
Ryan: It’s something I’ve read or seen on navy seals, our bodies only ever use about 60 percent of what it’s capable of and that the mind can take it far further, if we’re in good condition, if we’re not we just peak out at that 60 percent we never actually fulfil our true potential.
Brandon: Yeah, your brain is like, just like in your car if you try to go too fast the engine cuts out now, your brain is doing the same, like, hey we better slow down but if you’re more physically prepared, you’ll actually hit that point where you want to stop but then your brain realizes, oh actually we can keep going, but since your brain won’t know how much further you can go, that’s when you’ll have that ability to go above and beyond. You generally see that in sporting events, is where that probably comes up the most, where something amazing happens and you’re like, oh my gosh I can’t believe that happened how are they able to do that? It’s just, mentally pushing themselves and willing themselves to that next level.
Ryan: It’s fascinating isn’t it, with your training, your taking that approach where it is going to push people’s boundaries whether they are in a sports team or have a particular goal in mind or they just want to have a better life outside of their gym or outside of the training, you can help them across that whole arena.
Brandon: yeah, definitely, and it’s interesting that you said pushing boundaries because there’s a lot more ways where we can push boundaries then just trying to run you into the ground that session. We can push boundaries appropriately and safely rather then just going there and trying to smash you every week. That’s not pushing your boundaries that’s just making sure you’re fatigued and exhausted, pushing your boundaries is finding those weaknesses in the body and making them stronger because, if I find the weakest point in your body and try to start strengthening that, that’s going to take a heck of a lot more concentration and effort to try and get that muscle firing and working and running as fast as you can. So pushing boundaries can be done in many ways but that’s definitely my philosophy like, we’re going to push you and just keep improving and keep seeing those.
Ryan: I think that’s a smart way, a good way to finish is that that type of targeted approach is certainly going to get someone more results because you’re not just putting them through a cookie cutter process and I think that is probably a testament to why your calendar is so full and why you are kept on at these high end performance teams so well done and I appreciate your time in the interview today Brandon and good luck in the future.
Brandon: Thank you, thanks for having me.