Full Episode Transcript
Today I am joined on the Pro-Fit podcast by Nat Lowe from Pro-Fit Golf Conditioning. And for those of you who don’t know Nat, Nat used to be a professional golfer turned PT and now she is running what we would term a niche business within the fitness industry. Aiming at helping golf professionals and those looking to improve their game of golf with their golf fitness and their golf conditioning. So this is something that’s really interesting to hear from a few different standpoints and that’s going to help us with a few aspects of actually training people who like to play golf, even if it’s just on a recreational level. Just to help us out with that. I am a self-confessed golf novice and know nothing about the game of golf. So that was interesting for me to listen to. Um, but then on the other side of it Nat also covers some of the business aspects of what it is that she deals with in terms of having niche down from a general PT business and into this, this market of golf conditioning and, and becoming a sort of a name in that industry. And she’s now started her own podcast as well, the uh, the Pro-Fit Golf conditioning podcast. So make sure you check that out. So that’s enough of me waffling on. Let’s head over into the interview and let’s see what Nat has to say to fantastic interview. And there is some amazing insights in there for trainers, new and old. So as always, let’s dive right in.
Okay. So as I just mentioned in the introduction, our guest today is Nat Lowe from Pro-Fit Golf conditioning. Nat how are you?
I’m good Matt. How are you?
Yes, I’m very good. Thank you. I’ve uh, I’ve just let all our listeners know that you are a fellow Pro-Fit PT and you’re a big part of our team. You’re part of the leadership team. But today I’ve brought you on to discuss some of the work that you do with regards to Pro-Fit Golf conditioning and helping people understand what that entails and how we can help others in the game of golf. And then we’re going to dive into some of the stuff that you do around how you actually built a niche business within the fitness industry. So before we go into all of that, Nat give the listeners who don’t know you, a brief idea of who you are, what you do, what your journey looked like, you know, how you got into personal training, give us that. Give us that little backstory.
So, as you mentioned, I’m a pro fit PT as well, but before I got to that point, I basically used to be a professional golfer. So I played golf for about that then I want 16 years now or something like that, turned pro when I was 22. So I went off play in on tour across Europe, played two or three years as an elite armature shall we say before that, so I got into playing professional golf, played for a couple of seasons out. Basically didn’t do as well as I’d hoped I was going to or how I thought my career was going to go. And more than anything actually found, I wasn’t really enjoying the lifestyle a lot. Traveling, going from one place to another. Um, as you can imagine, very difficult to earn a living if you’re not playing well, week on week. Kind of made a decision where I was like, right, am I going to keep pushing this and put more into it or am I going to essentially kind of stop playing competitively and look at having a regular day job?
And I chose the second. So I sort of had a period of time where I was knocking about doing crappy jobs, waitressing and working behind bars, call centres, you name it, I’ve done it. And then a found sort of PT really just by chance, I mean I’d always played loads of other sports growing up. I’ve always been to the gym and I was just chatting to a guy in my gym about PT and that’s kind of really where the idea came from. So I sort of researched how you became a PT, found a course online, signed up for it, went and did it. And ironically that’s where I met Graham he works for Pro-Fit, he invited me for an interview and kind of that was that really in terms of getting into PT and from that it’s just kind of grown and grown into essentially what is my niche of Pro-Fit Golf now. And I guess that’s the shortened version to be honest.
Yeah. So give us an idea of how long you’ve been with Pro-Fit for now then Nat.
So, I’m five and a half years in now. I started in 2014
What’s that part of your journey looks like in terms of, because obviously now you’re heavily involved in golf conditioning, but you started out initially just as a, I’ll say just as a PT, but you know what I mean, PT and talk to us about those last five years. Like what was that journey like in terms of going from professional sports to become an a PT?
A bit of a shock to the system initially because this is really kind of the first career I’ve had I suppose, if that’s how you want to classify it, I’d always just done you know, as I said, crappy part time jobs and my only focus was trying to be a successful professional golfer. So I had that kind of initial shock of like going to work every day, which I wasn’t used to. But when I first started out, it was the case of, you know, I joined the team at Wilmslow and I got into to sort of set up the every Pro-Fit PT goes through and you know, trying to pick up regular clients, learning how to be a PT, like I’d always been to the gym but I didn’t know how to train. I thought I knew what I was doing but I definitely didn’t, you know, I was just messing about doing things that I enjoyed and that was good and I was not a relatively okay fitness level but.
When you become a PT, you learn how to train, and you learn how to train for certain situations and certain people. So there’s a hell of a lot of learning going on initially, you know, learning how to program, talking about nutrition, like that was a big thing for me because I was like come from, a typical golfers diet, like a sausage roll in my bag, and a mars bar and then really that’s all I knew. So that was normal. So there’s a lot of education on that side of things. And obviously my PT business grew from there. I’ve worked my way through the Pro-Fit levels in terms of education. But one big thing that I’ve put a lot of time into is my own education along the way. So, when I started out initially my aim was obviously to be a good PT and to get good at that. But I always knew I had the idea that I wanted to be a golf fitness trainer because golf is what I knew best it’s what had the most knowledge on and something that I felt there was an opportunity for. So in terms of my own education, I’d always pushed towards that. Going on hell of a lot of courses across these last five and a half years that have kind of put me in a position to be an expert in the area.
Excellent. And if we take that like from that point now, if we have a look at what you actually do from a a golf fitness perspective, I’ll be the first to admit Nat, I am, absolutely clueless when it comes to golf. And if you remember seeing me on the Pro-Fit sports day, I barely even knew how to hold a golf club. So this will be it. This would be an education for me as well. But we do work with a lot of clients that play golf and it is something that they do recreationally, they want to get better at it. I know that you’re working with people at the higher end of that level as well and people turning pro and people that are pro’s as well. So just get the listeners out there cause I think there’s a lot of people that won’t quite understand what it is that you do from a golf conditioning standpoint versus what you would do in as a PT. Like give us an insight as to what that actually looks like as a, as a role or a service. What is it that you are helping people do and how are you helping people use the gym to translate into performance on a golf course?
Golf fitness really is essentially kind of improving the work and aspects of your body for a desired result or outcome. At the end of it. So depending on the person and the circumstance, that outcome is going to vary. So a lot of the work that we do will involve improvements in the ability and general movement capacity because that’s a huge aspect of being a good golfer. And then we’ve got general kind of strength and conditioning and then a lot of sort of power and speed work as well. And all that sounds fairly normal is what you would do with a typical PT client as well. But it’s the circumstances and the detail that varies a lot with it. People who are golfers, they’ll come in and they will have, a lot of the time there’ll be hopping golf lessons and they’ll be looking at working on specific issues.
Now we go down into the details of kind of the biomechanics of how their body moves relative to what they’re trying to achieve in the golf swing. So as an example, let’s say I’ll keep it as non-golfy as possible so it’s not to technical, but if you’re working on a particular part of the golf swing, let’s say you’re trying to increase the turn and your back swing, there’s more often than not a mechanical reason why that’s not happening. And it could be various things. So it could be that you’ve got poor hip mobility or poor shoulder mobility, or you’ve got a lack of ankle stability that’s inhibiting one of the other areas. So the first thing we do is we go down to the nitty gritty and find out the details of exactly how your bodies moving. And what we do is we go through what’s called a golf screening which is a series of 16 movements test, they’re all relatively basic.
There’s nothing overly hardcore in there, but some of the movements are quite challenging and they look quite simple, so the things that you think ah actually, I should be pretty good at this, but more often than not, people won’t pass those tests and therefore, what that tells us is why they’re making the movements that they’re doing. So that’s kind of the first step is that we aim to uncover any physical limitations within the golfer. That also then helps the golf coach because the coach is going to be like, right, okay, that makes sense. Why Bob can’t put his arm in this position because he physically actually can’t do it. That’s our first step. Once we kind of have that data and information we’re looking at, right, okay, how can we improve the weaknesses and the limitations we find with this person? And that normally comes in the form of specific mobility training.
And when you think of mobility training, normally you think about kind of just opening the body up in the joints well we kind of go more into the detail and sort of get right down into the articulations of the joint and really help them move better as a, as a starting point. And then we build on that and then at the same time we’re looking to get those golfers stronger because strength really will benefit everything that they do. You know, not just from a golf perspective, from a daily life and health perspective, that if you’re stronger, your posture tends to be better, carry yourself better. And that comes with a bit of confidence as well. And then thirdly, we’re looking at adding power and speed to that person where it’s relevant. So for the professionals we work with or the elite end, you know, power and speed is key in golf because hitting the ball further statistically is an advantage. Statistically the players that hit the ball further make more money. It’s something you can’t not do as a professional. So that’s typically like all three stages. And what you tend to get then is a better rounded athlete and a better opportunity for increased performance.
Fantastic. So I’m sure everyone listening can see that it’s quite involved. There’s a lot going on there. It’s a huge sort of operation to, uh, to get individuals moving well. And if we were to sort of translate what you do Nat into, let’s say you, someone like me, let’s say you’re a trainer that doesn’t play golf, has never really been involved in golf or you’re just someone that uses the gym on your own, but you’re a recreational golfer. What should someone like me as a trainer or someone walking into the gym as a recreational golfer, what can we do just on a general level to help someone’s golf game from like a a general perspective, let’s say based on the common things that you see, certain tightness, certain weaknesses, what would those areas be if you were to pick a couple of those?
Okay, so if we just go in like sort of on a random level and not going too detailed. Then across all the players I’ve worked with, you tend to get some like common traits within movements. So you typically get people that have got poor ankle and hip mobility. Normally you get poor ankles affects the hips typically because we’re stood on the ground first, so things tend to work their way up. Spinal trunk rotation is typically really bad on most people. If you think general public we’re just sat down all day at work, come home, sit down, sit, sit down at the table, eat dinner, everything is SAP. So trunk rotation, extremely limited and actually sort of extension and flection of the spine pretty bad as well. And then just really kind of the lack of overall strength across the body, particularly in the lower body, especially if it’s blokes, because traditionally blokes go into the gym and they see a bench press and a bicep curl and that’s ,you know, they’re the things that make them look good on the beach.
So that’s what they kind of gravitate to a little bit. Um, so just from a general standpoint, my advice on that would be to, to really number one is just get moving if you’re not doing something now, do it, so if you spend a lot of time, sat down, get do something that gets you out of your typical posture. So a lot of the time, like the, the only bad posture is the one that we spend the most time in. Although you know, the one that we’re not doing is the one we’ve kind of want to get ourselves in. So if you’re not going to the gym, just get yourself moving, that will benefit you first of all. Secondly, um, a lot of lower body work always helps. You know, things like lunges, squats, hinge movement patterns are really great for golf, a lot of posterior strength work.
And then I’ll try and incorporate some degree of rotation, whether that be kind of using the cables or resistance bands. Or, Just kind of anything really that revolves in slightly bent over, almost like a bent over rope position, benefits golf because of the gravitational pull on the body. It kind of replicates a little bit of what you, you’re expecting to see in it in a golf swing. And typically I would spend little time doing cardio work if you’re a golfer because the actual benefit isn’t, it doesn’t really translate that well. Again, it depends on the person, but overall I would go down the lines of get moving, move the joints around and start incorporating some strength work.
And the bit that you mentioned there about cardio at the end, maybe not necessarily being that useful leads quite nicely into where I wanted to go next for the wanted to ask you about the sort of the same, same question asked a couple of different ways is what if any of the common misconceptions that people might have when they walk into a gym in regards to, I’m going to do this because it improves my game of golf when potentially it doesn’t. And then, and then if we saw a flip that as well, is there anything that people are doing that actually hinders their game of golf? The stuff that’s common movements and things that they might be doing that actually were really tightening the body up there were really restricting mobility. We may be even hindering any sort of stability in those end ranges of motion and things like that. So, you know, go, go with that however you however you want Nat, but is the particular things that people are doing that affect them in those couple of ways?
Okay. So firstly sort of you call them misconceptions are that golfers typically tend to think training has to look or resemble a golf swing, which is absolutely false. There are exercises out there which will resemble a little bit of a golf swing but, 99% of the work you do will not look anything like a golf swing. That’s number one. So what you tend to see is people that
don’t have any experience regarding gym work but they want to get stuck in and they go straight to the cables and they start wood chopping it down because that looks like a golf swing, you know, it probably won’t be too much harm, but it’s not really going to do that much help either. Secondly is that they think that what’s applicable for top pen professionals is also applicable to them. So they see things in magazines, on Instagram, on you know, internet, all these other avenues of Rory McIlroy deadlifting 300 K. so they’re like, right, I’ve got to do that cause he does it so it must be good. Whereas individual circumstances massively apply. You know, you really have to figure out what it is that you need and work best around that. And again, as we said, that cardiovascular work. So if you think about a typical round of golf, that’s normally four to five hours.
So, it’s a long time. It can be anything from six to 10 K worth of walking depending on the golf course. So you’re going to put a few steps in but the, the strain on your CVS system is very, very low. Unless you’re incredibly unfit and you struggle walking upstairs and up Hills, then the actual output from a cardiovascular perspective is really low. Yes, that needs to be a minimal amount of cardio training is if you can walk 18 holes, then you cardio fit enough for golf. It’s more of a muscular endurance thing that we’re looking at in terms of, you know, we need the endurance from the muscles to be able to replicate the power and speed that you’re going to be hit in a shot at, you know, over 18 holes. So there your sort of common misconceptions regarding training. I don’t think there’s anything too much that that really is going to hinder people.
It’s more of a case of maximizing your time. So, if you’re going to the gym two to three times a week, and for most people, you know, go into the gym, it is, it’s almost like cramming in time. It’s like right, I’ve got an hour and I’ve got to get this done. So you want to maximize the time you’ve got available and that’s where you want to be doing things that are benefits in you personally and taking you forwards. And really the only way to find that out is to kind of have a screening essentially and know what you’re dealing with and then you’re not going to waste time doing exercises that that might not be relevant to you. So in terms of, let’s say a, you’ve got poor hip mobility, but you don’t know that you might just be doing loads of upper body work and actually your time would be best on hip mobility or lower body or something else that’s going to benefit your golf swing and any power output in the long term. So it’s more a case of maximizing your time I think than particular exercise is not benefiting you because something is always better than nothing in life. Someone’s going to the gym then moving and they get in a degree of strength work in there and that’s better than doing nothing at all
Excellent. Cheers for that Nat. So in short people you can do the basics on your own, you can go to the gym, you can, you can do what you want, use your time wisely. But if you need some specific help and Nat’s the person to go and see, is the key takeaway there.
If we come away from the golf side of your golf business Nat and actually look at sort of the business side of it. Um, before we dive into some, the specifics, I was interested in hearing your thoughts on the idea of actually building a niche in, in any sort of fitness business sense. It was something I was asked about recently when I was interviewed on this show and a couple of people have asked me about it away from the world of podcast interviews. And you know, Matt, what do you think about niche and should we niche? What is a niche, blah, blah, blah. I would like to start by getting your thoughts and opinions on whether people need to have a niche in the first place. What, how they might go about deciding that and just where you think it, it works for you in terms of knowing when to do it and stuff like that.
Okay, so firstly, I do genuinely believe everybody has a niche because my initial opinion is that being good at what you do, whether that’s PT fitness or you know, outside business is a niche in itself because there are a lot of people who do the same thing as you and don’t do it well. So that’s therefore a niche on its own. But, I think it’s important really, if you have an idea in mind and you look in about going down the lines of sort of niche in a business, I think it’s important that you ask yourself a couple of questions and firstly I would ask yourself, does this product or service exist in the market currently? If the answer to that is no, then there’s obviously scope for something unique there. If the answer to that is yes, then you second questions yourself has to be can I do this product or service better than what is currently out there?
Again, if the answer to that is yes, then you’ve got room for niche products. I think really a niche is kind of essentially something that doesn’t exist or a problem you think you can resolve and I genuinely believe everything in life answers both of those questions. So for me, like everybody does have a niche. I think as a PT sometimes it’s a bit of a worry for people cause they think when they get to a certain point like right, I’m a good trainer, you know I get great results and I’m good at X, Y, Z, but where do we go from here? It’s like, well that’s kind of a niche in itself that, you know, keep doing the things that you do in because that’s solving a problem and It’s fairly unique because in the fitness industry there are a lot of bad PT’s, you know, without being too controversial.
So there kind of the first things that I would look at, So for me personally, when, when I started Pro-Fit golf, obviously I am professional golfers, so I had the experience of being in the game and being around the game and the people in the game for years and years. But, I genuinely believe that I could answer both of those questions because when I was playing, even though as I’ve said, I was, you know, I’m a very sporty person. I played football as a kid, to a decent level, got a black belt in karate. Various other things when it came to golf, I went to the gym, but I didn’t train properly for golf not compared to what I know now. When I was playing professionally, I was looking for somebody to help me and there was no one around. You know, I’d worked with a couple of physios doing bits and bobs because I’d had and it’s only now really I know why I had those injuries.
But for me, the answer to both of those questions was there in the sense that I felt like there was an opportunity for me to create something slightly unique that didn’t exist and I genuinely believe and well believed and still do believe that I could do it better than what was already out there. So for me it was a bit of a no brainer really. And I think that those, those things are really important to ask yourself before you start. Because if you can’t answer those questions, how you want them to be on answered, you may need to kind of have another, look at what you’re thinking about.
Yeah. And then in terms of, you actually start in that now, how long had you been a PT before you started to niche down a little bit in terms of who you were working with and what service you were offering those people? I would say
properly probably at least a year and a half. It could have been pushing two years. I kind of got two years into being a PT, getting comfortable as a trainer, getting good results, improving on my education and I had one golf client. Initially he was actually a friend, he was a pro golfer locally and I trained him for free and I still do train him for free now, five and a half years later. And really it was from getting kind of good results with him that things started to expand a little bit. So he massively improved in the gym and not had a huge translation into his golf swing. He started hitting the ball a lot further, started getting some really good results, better than he’d ever got before. And really kind of, I suppose word of mouth started to spread a little bit then. And then that’s when I started picking up more golfers and the business started slowly. So just turn and, and get better and better from the, in terms of golf really.
And in terms of you being able to do that in a couple of years Nat, that’s actually, like fantastic. It’s a relatively short space of time, isn’t it? But what I would like to highlight to the listeners out there having known Nat outside of this interview is that the reason she managed to do that that quickly was number one. Obviously she was involved in the sport at a very high level so that always helps. But number two, and you’ve probably heard her mention it already, like that additional education that you would do in Nat I imagine was a big part of this imagine that you went and did stuff that’s well without the normal realms of what a PT goes and doors in terms of spending a fortune on traveling the world and learning from the best and things like that. So can you touch on that for us? Like what did you actually do from an education standpoint because we’re huge on that at Pro-Fit, but we’re also huge on go and learn from others as well as us on top of that.
Yup. I did have a look into this actually because I knew you had asked me this, but I honestly think I’ve spent about 30 grand on courses over the last five and a half years. That actually makes me feel a bit sick saying that out loud, but it’s obviously been for a good purposes, so initially what I did was the golf qualifications, so that’s called TPI, which stands with Titleist performance Institute. So they’re kind of the governing body of golf fitness, essentially it’s a an American based company and they’re worldwide and world renowned now. So I’ve done three levels of those level three being the highest, which I went to California to do. So that was a big trip, I’ve then taken part in the world golf fitness summit last year, which is conventions for golf fitness coaches and professional golf coaches across the world. Again, which is another big trip.
Alongside that I did my UK FCA qualification, which was really tough. And alongside that I had weightlifting lessons to compliment that. So I put a lot of time and money into practicing something I wasn’t naturally good at to pass that. So not just the cost of the courses itself and all the studying that goes with it because there’s four big parts to doing that exam. But the actual time outside of my job and my business to go and have lessons from another expert to help me do that. And I have to know the courses as well that have kind of complimented the work that I’ve done. So one is called FRC, which is functional range conditioning, which is a Canadian based company. And they work along the lines of very detailed mobility work. And actually use probably the most of that day in day out. I’d recommend that as a course to anybody, any PT really whether your sport related or not cause the learning on it is just fantastic.
Um, and I also did stick mobility, which you probably see me faffing around with an Instagram quite a lot. Again, brilliant tool, really golf relevant. So in terms of qualifications, uh, sort of, you know, your pen on paper ones that I have done. But the main thing for me was really, to just sort of put myself out there and learn from who I perceived to be the experts in the industry at that time. And obviously that that’s ever changing. And as the world changes book, you know, I tried to to shadow people to get in meetings with golfers or coaches or people, anybody really who I thought could help me and could give me something that would push me forward. I just kind of ride off the back of almost a little bit and find out as much information as I could about right. Who’s doing what, what products are out there and what, what do they do and try and take the best bits from everybody and apply that where I really It was applicable I think.
Yeah. That’s awesome. And I hope that the listeners really sort of hone in on the idea of, you know, you said it’s a lot of money to spend, but actually what it is is it’s an investment in your own business into as a business, you know, you earn revenue and a portion of that, if you’re going to build a solid business that stands the test of time and you know, serves you well in your life, you’ve have to reinvest. And at that stage, the business is you, isn’t it? You are the business. So that reinvestment is usually in yourself and it just shows that, you know, if you’re using the experience of these people in these courses, you can fast track your own level of success like immensely, you know, 10 fold, 20 fold, whatever it is. You know, the only, the only cost to enter that is a is the money. So you either choose between spending the money to learn it quicker or spending the time and learn it slowly.
Yeah, I do honestly believe, I think education is just so important. Like if you want to be an expert at something or you think you’re an expert at something, you should be an expert. Like if someone comes into the gym and they asked me how to do a power clean, I’ll show you how to do it because I’ve learned how to do it. And for me I think that’s so important. Like if you’re going to portray yourself as an expert, you have to practice what you preach. Really for me, that drips down into my day to day work. Like a lot of programs, I set my golfers, I will test ruin a lot of them myself. Like I want to know how the exercise feels like against the superset, against the rest time, against whatever it might be. So that makes me a better coach. When I explained that to that client, you know, I, this is what we’re going to do. I know how that feels. Like you really can’t replace experience and education I think in anything. If you’re going to be an expert, I expect you to be an expert. You know? It’s like going to a dentist that you don’t go to a dentist with bad teeth because that clearly not living along their values. Somewhere along the lines and a, do you believe that’s the same thing with, with training?
Yup. Yup. It’s a big part of it. Yeah.
Now let’s say that there’s someone listening to this now Nat that’s in the position where they’re seriously considering starting their own niche or something and they want to maybe explore this a little bit more. Tell us a little bit about some of the barriers or obstacles that they might face when they first start. Like what was some of the stuff that you had to overcome as challenges, whether that just be own stories in your head or actual physical real world challenges. Talk to us a little bit about some of those things.
Right. Okay. Where do you start with this? A lot is the answer. Yeah,
Nat has just taken out a scroll and lets it unravel.
The number one barrier initially I would say in in the golf industry itself has come from people who are non-believers essentially in the sense that they didn’t feel golf fitness had a place within golf. And I know that that’s still true with certain coaches is that they think fitness has no impacts on the golf swing and no impacts on the golf game. That’s number one and then they’re difficult people to convince because they’re kind of set in their ways of, they think that what they believe is correct. So that’s number one. People that you come across who don’t share the same beliefs as you and therefore you get a lot of objections from those people. Like if you go and try and connect with them they’re not interested because they think, well what can you offer me? This is no benefits of this. Secondly, like be massively prepared for people to slam doors in your face.
That’s going to happen on a regular basis and it still happens now. And I think for me that’s something that’s something I had to get comfortable with because it almost wounded my pride a little bit. Cause I was like, right, well I know I’m good at my job, I know I’m a good trainer and I genuinely believe what I’ve got is useful to every golfer on the planet. So why don’t you see that? And sometimes you just have to accept those people are probably not the people you want to work with. You know, when I was trying to connect with people, a lot of them being golf coaches really, you send the messages out there without see emails, phone calls, whatever, and be prepared to not get a response. It still happens now. And one thing that I’ve massively learned from that is you do have to become a bit of a hustler that, you know, nowadays I will send you a message and nag you till you either, a at a block me or be you reply out of annoyance because if I think you can help me, I’ll just keep going until you give me what I want.
And that’s almost like a skill in itself that I’ve kind of learn really across the years. So I think if something that someone can give me and it helps, then I’ll just keep pushing until I get it. And I think be prepared as well for sort of nothing runs perfectly, which I find hard work because I am a perfectionist. So I think if you have it in your mind that at some point you’re going to come through a difficult period, whether that’s losing clients or something happens, that you don’t expect just be prepared for that. Like nothing’s ever going to be a smooth run. That’s business and that’s life and a lot of you learn in an experience comes through those situations is just how you tackle it and how you get over it. And I think as well, just almost reminding yourself like Rome isn’t built in a day.
No, you’re not going to go from one client 20 clients overnight and have this amazing business. It’s a combination of piecing together good days and consistent actions that really actually build the business that you have. Like if I look back now, really I think one of my skills as a person is I never really live outside of the day that I’m on. No, I have my tasks for the day and I make sure that they get done and that just happens Monday to Friday, day upon day. So by the end of the week, I’ve got a week’s worth of actions. By the end of the month, I’ve got a month’s worth of actions and so on and so forth. And it’s only really when you look back, you actually realize how much work you’ve put in. But if you continually live on the day that you’re on, you never really let your mind escape that and you don’t bring in any worries or concerns and think, well this isn’t happening today.
Or you know that persons not got back to me. You just keep pushing and doing what you can control. The rest really does take care of itself. And in terms of like the obstacles, you know, people are always going to put barriers in your way. And I think the key is to not take it personally. And that, is it is, it’s really hard and I do still struggle with it now. And a had an incident, the other week where I was, I’d set to an interview a massive golf coach for my podcast and it didn’t work. The connection wasn’t working and I just knew there and then that, that slipped and the opportunity had gone and it really wounded me and they just thought, you know what? It’s gone now. There’s nothing I can do about it. Let’s just try and push on with what I was going to do anyway. And hopefully the opportunity to come back round. Well I think, I think the main thing is to be aware that things will not always go to plan.
Everything you just said that and that was awesome advice. But yeah, that, that key takeaway is a, is true with, we’ve been, uh, been around doing these, uh, fitness businesses for a while now and that’s the one thing that we can always expect. Expect the unexpected and you know, do what you can to prepare in any way you can. And I think that, I hope the other people as well listening to this now take from that as well about the idea that, you know, you termed it hustling Nat like going out there and making things happen. I was having this conversation with my team yesterday in the gym about the idea of, you know, as we get busier as, as PTs and as we expand our businesses and do other the things, if anything, you have to get even better at generating more leads in different ways for different projects and different things.
And I think people are trying to get to the point in their business where they no longer have to generate leads or new business. Like I don’t want to have to do that anymore. And the reality is is that you’ve got to keep pushing. I think that you’ve got to keep, that’s a skill, that’s a skill that you have to keep getting better at because actually if you want to do all these things, you’re now not just going to have to generate leads as a PT. You’re going to have to do it as a, whether it be a golf coach or a nutrition coach or an SNC coach or a coach or whatever you want to call yourself, you’re going to have to do it for that. Plus the other thing plus the other thing plus the other thing and you’ve just got to hone that skill. That only comes from keeping pushing like you are at the moment. And in terms of when you first started doing the golf condition, the golf fitness stuff, sort of more full time Nat, what were the first steps you actually talk in changing the way you ran your business? You’ve mentioned that you started training that pro golfer for free, but when you actually started taking on like paying clients, what changed if anything? How, how did the running of your business differ?
Okay, so a few things. So initially like the product itself, I changed in the sense that when I spoke earlier about the golf screen ins, I started to offer that as a separate product in itself and that still is probably still one of the busiest products that I have now is just a golf screening on its own obviously then we still have regular training with the regular golfers kind of runs in a very similar way to PT. Um, the packages probably vary slightly and I adopted them a little bit as I went along because found that certain people or certain golfers I was training the timeframes didn’t really lend themselves to them getting the best and the most from the process. So there are things that have adapted over time and experience of working with different people. And then as I started to get busier and I was getting good results with loads in a variety of different golfers, I don’t know if it’s just coincidence or it’s a matter of time, but then a lot of more people started approaching me and that came from various avenues that came from coaches.
It came from parents of juniors, from other golfers saying have heard you train such a body. Like I’d like to come down, blah blah. And you know, that kind of spirals on within itself. And alongside that I started my website because one of my longer term goals was to do or provide an online training service, which I didn’t believe existed well enough in the industry. So I wanted to create my own version that hit sort of the, the areas I felt was relevant and was applicable and sort of available to any golfer. So getting a website that kind of joined in as well. And then for me it really is a case of consistency. Like you cannot underestimate how important 1% actions are. And so that was posting on Instagram on a daily basis, allowing those followers to grow and develop naturally. None of this follow on follow business.
Just let the people who want to read and want to see what you do, let them just gravitate there and then an action that I still do now, which is write a weekly article every Friday that goes out to all my email list. Anyone that’s ever been part of anything that we do, not something I’ve done for the last three, three and a half years. And you know, it’s not like someone will turn around every week and buy something back or it’s a consistent action that I know works and over time those actions lead to greater things. So in terms of kind of changing the business, it becomes more of a case of the products itself change slightly. To accommodate for the types of golfers that you know we train more often making sure they get the most from the process and the also obviously it benefits those as well and then just increase in the range of products and bits itself into online training in two different formats and then a case of consistent actions day to day with making sure that we outreach as many people as possible through things like Instagram articles and then link in with as many local people as we know.
So that’s coaches, players, literally anybody. It’s funny cause now few years down the line like my first thought whenever I meet someone new is like can this person helped my business somehow. Like what do they know that I don’t know, can I use this person in some way? Whereas that’s something you get better at in time as well. Kind of recognizing the signs of okay, talking about my business more. At first I was felt a little bit embarrassed about it. I don’t know why, maybe because it was a little bit random and there wasn’t really a lot of, you know, golf fitness, shall we say five years ago it was almost like, what why, why’d you do that? Is that even a thing? Whereas now like it’s something that I’m proud to talk about and I feel comfortable talking about. So I guess that’s something that’s made it a little bit easier as well, but really is a case of connecting in as many different avenues as you can.
And just because you don’t get a result initially, it doesn’t mean it’s not been useful. A prime example of that is I had an email, I think it was at the start of this year or the end of last year, can’t remember from someone I spoke to four years ago. Firstly who keeps an email for four years anyway. And secondly, you know, that was for me in my head at the time, was almost like a dead end lead. It had gone nowhere. It was someone that I’d say and spoke to about the products and you know, nothing ever happened four years ago, but four years down the line they’ve come back and they are now a client. So never think just because you didn’t get something initially. It’s actually a no forever, that’s not the case.
I hadn’t really planned on asking you about this Nat but because you mentioned it, I know that I’m going to get people asking me why I didn’t ask you about this because it’s a hot topic. Talk to us about your online training because this is something that, especially within Pro-Fit and I know that us leaders will talk about it a lot. There’s mixed opinions there’s mixed views. There’s people that do it well. There’s people that do it not so well. There’s probably more people that do it not so well. The ones that do it well. Talk to us about like what your online training looks like and why you made the decision to do that. Maybe even just give us your opinion on online training overall and what you think good online training should actually be. Who should be doing it? Who should it be far things like that. Just give us your opinions on that because I know that the audience would be keen to hear that from someone like yourself.
Okay, so firstly my opinion is that online training you should only do if you are an expert because it’s so much harder to convey a message through a computer than it is face to face at the end of the day for the client, they are always better being face to face. They’re going to get better results. It’s easier to build a relationship, it’s easy to build rapport. All these other things when you are face to face in the same room with the person. For me, I wanted to provide an online product, A) because I didn’t feel like there was a good one out and B) because I was getting a lot of emails, a lot of messages from golfers who lived nowhere near the local area. I mean it talking like over side of the world sometimes. And even now I’ve got online clients that live in America, they’re not even in this country.
And at the same time as I was having golfers come in for, for screenings that were not local, you know, from Holland, from Northern Island, from the opposite end of Scotland. You know, right down South. Like these people were willing to travel to come and have a session and have a screening. So, for me, I was like, well, why am I going to let these people walk away? You know, without going any further. Essentially if they want it to and they go, you know, I’ve got a local PT who I can train with them, you know, I’ve got this information then that’s great. As long as they, you know, they stay in the industry and they’re getting fitter and stronger. Brilliant. That’s, that’s the aim of the game really. Yeah. But for me, I was like, well, I feel like there’s a, there’s an opportunity here to kind of to grab those people back in and go, right, okay, well how can I help you?
Even though you don’t live locally. Uh, not for me it was to create a product that was essentially an online training product. So in terms of the way I do that have kind of two options. I have, like a monthly online training service where I write programs, we build workouts based on the golfers screening results. That’s key. So I won’t just write random programs because I don’t know how you move, I don’t know. Are you injured? Don’t know what you look like, you know all these types of things. But we interview everybody first. Essentially kind of like we are now face to face. We’ll chat on the phone. I want to know a little bit about you as a person we want to know about your golf game because you might not be right for online training. You know, if you find it right here you go mate, here’s a program crack on.
And you text me the week after and go right, I’ve got my back out. Well that did nobody any favours. That’s hurt the person and made me look like a bit of a twat. So I think it’s important initially that you know you get the right people on board in the sense that they’re gym competent, they know their way around the gym. If they don’t have a gym, have they got basic equipment at home that they can make use of, you know, things like resistance bands and maybe the odd kettle bell, a yoga mat, whatever it might be that you can build home workouts for. The online products works through the website in the sense that those people get their workouts. I have a little membership to it so they can log in. They’ve got a little dashboard and all of their programs come with a fully instructional video with technique descriptions, so it’s not just case of a one lot pull down and they’re like, what the hell is a lot pulled down?
There’s a video of me doing that. I’m talking over the top of it, telling you what the key point is are in the middle of all that, I’ll have sent you a message saying, right, here’s some extra notes on this program and we keep in contact week on week. Every Monday I’ll email all the online clients, talk to me about last week, how’s everything going, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And some of them, I’ve met in person, they’ve come up, you know, we’ve played golf and you start to build a relationship in the same way you would do face to face. It’s just simply we have that barrier of the fact that most of you know, we don’t live locally, but for me, I aim to give the same level of service that I would do if you were stood in front of me in the gym. And I’ve tried to create it in the most simple, efficient way and cost-effective way possible.
Because I felt like that wasn’t, it wasn’t out there that if you’re a golfer and you live in Scunthorpe and you know you don’t have anybody locally, you can’t pop down every week for a session that you can still get the same level of information and quality of information that you would have face to face. And obviously the client has to be aware of the fact that a lot of this is off their own back. You know, it relies a lot of self-motivation and in the sense that of course we’re going to talk week on week, but you still have to put the work in at the end of it if you want the results and you have to be aware that some of these exercises might be more difficult because there isn’t someone that’s a whole deer hunt. So as long as those things are kind of considered, and for me online training is about doing it for the right reasons and the sense that I still won’t take you as an online client if I don’t believe that, that you fit the right mould in the sense that you know what you’re doing and your gym competent and that this will actually benefit you.
Because in the long run it doesn’t benefit me. If that’s the case, if you’ve got 10 people that you take on, you think, Oh great an extra hundred quid a month times 10 well those people might have bad results at the end of that and bad mouth you. So actually in the long, long run, it really doesn’t benefit you. I think you still have to be doing it for the right reasons. And so may I think is easy for trainers to kind of get starry eyed at the thought of online train and they go, Oh, you know, I can sit here in the coffee shop, with my feet up or talking to like 20 odd people get in such amount per month because it says so an Instagram will firstly, a lot of its bullshit and most people are lying about how many online clients they actually have.
And secondly, if that’s all you want to do, why are you a PT? You know? Because for me that’s something completely different. Online training should almost be a bit of a spin-off of what you are good at in sense that if you’re a good PT and you feel like you can outreach more people via an internet service, then great, go for it. And as long as you do in it for the right reasons and you genuinely think the people on the end of that are benefiting from what you do. Perfect. If not, if you sat there thinking, right, I’m going to have an extra 10 grand a month, because such a body on Instagram says so that’s not the right reasons, It’s probably not going to work in the long run.
And I think as well, you’ve got to accept that. Even just listening to you describe what you do for your online clients and for anyone else out there that’s doing this well with the, with the good level of people is that it’s still a lot of work, isn’t it? I think a lot of people are attracted by the idea of yes, I might not be charging as much as I would in a PT setting, but actually I’m doing far less work I’m doing, you know, one, 1% of the work that would be doing. And I just think the reality of that is, is that if you’re doing it right, that’s just not the case.
It’s easier to train people face to face in person. It’s less work and it’s easier. So, if anybody thinks that online training is a bit of a route out and it’s going to be an easy ride, it’s definitely not.
Yeah, it still requires a lot of time, energy and effort and a lot of that you have to put in up front to get some of these systems and things in place to handle actually taking on clients. And that is once you’ve got the clients, people think that’s the end. I’ve got some clients now actually now these clients need service and they need that ongoing service. So I know the listeners will have heard me talk about how I do it with the big day body plan and the bridal stuff that I’ve done and it’s the same as you, you know the amount of time, energy and effort that goes into it. I’m not working with hundreds of people. It’s a small handful of people that complement the business that I’ve already got and that’s what it is, you know, because it is a lot of work. It is a lot of time and you’ve got to be a good fit for it. As you said, I do the same thing as you. I interview people via a call like this and make sure that it’s right for them. Um, cause like I say, it’s not for everyone just because it’s cheaper and more affordable doesn’t make it the right option. And I think that’s important to understand. Yeah.
To tie this interview up today, Nick now, sorry Nat, I don’t know where that came from. I want to ask you a few quick fire questions. You’ve mentioned a lot of useful information for PTs like new and old. If you’re one of the newer trainers listening to this now when I’m talking to you guys here, I want you to listen in on what Nat’s about to say. So for the newer PTs, what your top two to three things that you would be telling them with regards to building a successful PT business? If they’re just starting out, I know that you have a lot of interaction with new trainers and you see the common problems and struggles that they have. So if those guys, an idea of, of what they should be spending their time, energy and effort on.
Okay. So firstly, if you’re a new PT, you cannot underestimate the power of gym floor or gym interaction in whatever form you want that to come in. That’s something that for me is a no compromised. Get yourself on a gym floor talk to people. Get yourself known and, and genuinely just be present. That’s got to be the step one, if you come into PT and think you don’t want to talk to people, you don’t want to do gym floor, you’re in the wrong job. Go do something else because that’s kind of the backbone of what you do. And that will never change. Even now, I still do gym floor. It’s just in a slightly different context. You know, it never leaves my mind, not something that’s always a, um, for me that’s, that’s number one. Um, secondly is obviously the importance of your education. Um, you can never ever underestimate how important education is.
And even if you get to a point like where you and I are and we’re years down the line, there’s things we don’t know. You know, we still go on courses. We still read books like this year I think I’ve read 10 books. I’ve done a lot of education over the years. I could, I could almost put my feet up now and go, you know what? I’ve done enough. Done it. Tick the boxes. There’s always stuff you can learn. You can never know enough no matter what level you’re at. If you’re new PT, you’ve got, you know you should be a sponge. They’re soaking up everything that you want to know around the people that are around you. If you think that just because you know how to write a program, you’ve done it you’ve ticked the boxes, that’s, that’s not good enough. That’s not going to get you to expert PT status if that’s what you want to be or whatever you want to classify yourself as.
So always education. That’s definitely in the, one, I think it’s really important as well. And I think something that’s probably taken me a couple of years to get comfortable with or properly understand is to live by your values because they really are the backbone of who you are as a person and therefore the choices you make within your business. And in the sense that if something happens, in your business that you might not be able to control, it’s much easier to not take it personally if you’ve lived by your values within that process. So if you feel like you’ve helped people to the best of your ability where it’s hard, you’ve done X, Y, Z, whatever it might be, but you still didn’t get the result at the end of it, there’s really not anything else you could’ve done in that situation, in the sense that you live by your values and you’ve done the right thing for you.
So, I think that’s key as well. Um, one I do really think is massively important is always be the person who’s willing to help. Particularly as you get busier. So this kind of probably corresponds more to kind of not the senior trainers, but the trainers that are sort of in the middle, they’ve gone from new, maybe up into level five is a sense that they start getting busy and they think that they therefore don’t have to give back. And actually firstly you wouldn’t have got in the position that you are if nobody helps you. And secondly, why not do that for somebody else because people won’t always ask for your help. So it’s being aware of the fact that, right, how can I give back? Whether that’s doing team meetings or gym floor with a new trainer or holding someone’s hand in some respects that there are things that I think should be almost the backbone of you as a PT really.
Because we look at what we do for a job. We’re here to help people, you know, we get into this industry because no, only because we have a love for sport and I love for training but throughout that it’s case of you want to help people so they’re, they’re really values and things that shouldn’t necessarily change, no matter where you are. So, I would say from a new trainer point of view, they’re the things to keep in mind. Um, but just generally I think, I really do think the key to success is, is marginal gains is consistency is 1% better every day. Accumulate in your good days because they all add up, you know, nothing will change overnight. It’s only when you look back, you realize all those 1% as you put in means something and actually keep doing it because you know, if you think, Oh, can’t be asked, read in a chapter my book tonight. Well if you do that tonight, you’ll do it tomorrow. You do it the night after and it becomes a habit. Yeah, keep ticking, ticking off daily habits because before you know it, they do mean something. Yeah. It might not be fit for now or it will be in six months, but it will mean something eventually.
Um, and while you’re talking about habits, they’re Nat, that was the next thing I was actually going to touch on, what are the sort of daily habits and routines that you have for yourself? Like what are the three to five things, let’s say that a non-negotiable for you that allow you to build up these marginal gains over time and have these really consistent days?
Um, just from a structural point of view. So day to day I would always plan the night before, so my bags packed, food’s made, got my order of the day. So everything that happens for me the night before, so there’s no getting rushing, chasing my tail in the morning. I hate being late for anything. It makes me feel really stressed, uncomfortable, and I’m not in a good frame of mind if that’s how I feel. So that was kind of like a, a day to day action shall we say. Normally I’ll look across the week and I’ll be like, right, who’s in this week? What do I need to do? Do I need to plan any programs? Does anything need to change across the, the order of the week from daily habits? It’s really simple things. Reply to everybody as fast as you can. I know that’s not always possible, but getting onto the new leads calls, emails as quickly as you can.
I use reminders on my Mac daily, so I’ll put stuff in that. Even things like people’s birthdays, I’m not overly a forgetful person, but when you’ve got a lot of things to deal with, you know, it’s much easier if it just pops up on the screen and says write text such a body, to do list thoughts, an absolute constant on my computer even if there’s nothing on it. And I’ve kind of got to the point now where I’m comfortable. The fact that that will never be clear. There’ll always be something on there, and I think find a working environment really that, that you like, that you enjoy. For me, I work from home relatively well. I like putting my feet up on the table, sat on the sofa, works for me, um, I also like sitting in coffee shops. I’m not great around other people. I get distracted quite easily too involved in banter.
So, things like that where actually I’ll probably end up procrastinating rather than getting things done. And sometimes that’s a bit of trial and error, you know, find what works for you, what you like. But again, it’s just making things really simple. 1% tasks. If something and you had feels like a massive, huge task, you probably going to put it off. If all you’ve got to do is read one page, reply to one email, make one phone call. That’s way easier to do. And for me that’s how I kind of segregate everything in my head and it gets done quick
because he’s not about getting loads done today. It’s about getting small things done every day so that that accumulates over time, isn’t it? That’s essentially what you saying and I think people really overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in like a year,
you know, with clients and weight losses that we asked them to do. Simple habits day on day, right? Try and make you lunch to go to work, have a good breakfast. That might be all you give someone initially because they’re two things they can handle. It’s the same with a business. It’s like right ok today, what’s on reply to Dave Smith, whoever on email and call such a body. And if there two things that take you closer to going forwards, that’s all you need to do. Don’t worry about me, right? I’ve got build an online product today because that’s not going to happen overnight
Before we finish off Nat, I imagine that there’s people listening to this that are going to want to connect with you online. You’ve got your own podcast as well, so I mentioned that for us. Give us an idea of where we can find you, where we can find out more about you and the show and things like that. It was all of those links and things. Now when we’ll make sure we include them in the show notes. So where can we find you?
So, there’s a website, which is, www.pro-fitgolfconditioning.com so that’s got all the information in terms of training products, services. You can leave a little inquiry for them on that. If you want to get in such through the website, social media wise, you’ll find me on Instagram, which is @pro-fitgolf, which also links to the Facebook page, which I think is Pro-Fit Golf Conditioning, and then the podcast which is up and running now think we’re into episode 10 or 11 which is the Pro-Fit Golf Conditioning podcast. Again, that’s on Apple and Spotify. So I’ve had a few good guests on there, all golf related topics and fitness and golf related topics. So if you are a golfer, you know a golfer there’s probably some really good advice on there, that you can have a listen to so you can find them on, both of those platforms there.
Excellent. Well this has been awesome today Nat there’s loads of fantastic
Matt & Nat: 56:24
information in there regardless of whether you play golf or not, regardless of whether you’re a PT or not. There’s some just great general life advice in there as well. So thank you very much for all of that. It’s been a pleasure having you on. No problem, Matt. Thanks for having me.
They’re you have it our interview with Nat Lowe from Pro-Fit Golf conditioning. I hope you enjoyed all the different aspects of what Nat had to talk about today. She covered a lot of information in a short space of time, so as always if you need reminding of any of those things, please head over to the show notes page. You will be able to find that at mattrobinson.blog/035 we will have all the bits that she mentioned in there and resources that you can find in there. We’ll also link up to Nat’s podcast in there and her website and stuff, so make sure you check that out and for today that is everything that we have. We will be joined again in another fantastic episode next week. Until next time. If you have enjoyed this episode or any of the previous episodes, please can you head on over to Apple podcasts or Google podcasts and leave us a review there. Wherever it is that you listen to us, we would really appreciate a quick review and a rating. It just helps us reach a few more people. And it’s a nice bit of feedback for us to make sure that we’re covering the type of subjects that you like to hear about. So show notes, again, can be found at mattrobinson.blog/035 and head on over to wherever you listen to us to leave us a quick review and a rating. Until next time, take care of yourself and I shall see you there.
How Do You Niche A Fitness Business?
That’s what I discuss in this episode with our special guest, Nat Lowe, from Pro-Fit Golf Conditioning.
Running a successful fitness business is one thing, but niching down and focusing on a specific market, with a specific outcome in mind, is something entirely different.
Niching your fitness business might be something you would love to do. You might love the idea of working with a very specific type of person or with people who want a very specific outcome.
Despite loving the idea, it might also leave you asking yourself plenty of questions…
– How do I know if I’m going in to the right fitness niche?
– When is the right time to start niching?
– How will I attract my first clients for this specific niche?
– Is there still room to grow if I enter a specific fitness market?
Nat does a great job of answering all of these questions in this episode and gives you an insight in to the thought process she went through when deciding to niche her very own fitness business.
To find out the answer to all of those questions, I highly recommend you listen to the episode in full, using one of the links at the top of this page.
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