Episode 89: How to Develop Your Talent, & Why Being Entertaining Is Actually More Important Than The Workout with Mason Bendewald

in this episode:

Mason Bendewald

Founder and CEO of MEGAMACE, Inc.
Director and Producer of the P90X Extreme Home Fitness Series

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Want to know what the director of P90X looks for when searching for the top fitness talent? Spoiler: it’s not just someone who looks great and knows how to lead a workout. This episode is an incredible resource for fitness professionals and studio owners alike to learn not only how to be great on camera, but to rise to the top as a fitness professional. The secret? Get in touch with your own personal stories and find a way to share them throughout the workout. We’re all connected. The more you can connect with others and entertain them, the more they are going to show up. When we say entertain- it doesn’t mean you’re doing a song and dance. Being entertaining means there’s something about you that makes people want to stick around for the workout. A push-up is a push-up. A squat is a squat. Your job is to motivate people to keep coming back. If they keep showing up, they’re going to get results. Learn how in this episode, and learn how to cultivate a culture of rockstar fitness professionals at your studio.

FCM Episode 089 Show Notes

Listen to this Episode:

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

• The real truth behind what makes a fitness class unmissable.
• What it takes to have a career on camera as a fitness professional.
• The mindset to have a studio owner so that you can grow to a point where you are turning trainers down who want to work for you.

Here’s the Complete Episode Summary:

(14:50) The most important things to look for in talent.

Being an excellent trainer or group fitness instructor doesn’t always translate well to being great on camera. You want to find someone that draws you in. Find someone who’s interesting and a natural performer. What makes someone interesting is who they are.

(19:54) Stray away from the default phrases as much as possible. “Great job” “Feel that burn”

(21:00) Want to learn how to be a fantastic trainer or great on camera?

Get in touch with your own personal stories and find a way to share them throughout the workout. “Universal truths”. We’re all connected. The more you can connect with others and entertain them, the more they are going to show up. And if they keep showing up they’re going to get results.

Fitness comes second on camera. When you’re on camera, your first job is to entertain. There are 7,000 new fitness videos being uploaded every day. If you’re not entertaining, people aren’t going to stick around for the workout. A push-up is a push-up. A squat is a squat. Your job is to motivate people to stay there and do more. The assumption is that you’re already a great trainer. Being entertaining doesn’t mean you’re singing and tap-dancing, or your education or programming go out the window. It should be a sleight-of-hand- undetectable.

You should make people want to do the workout with you more than the trainer next to you.

(27:11) Where you do you find what makes you unique?

Anything that’s really different and still gets you results needs to be given a shot.

Every trainer needs to find why they’re different and their unique point of view- and be able to share it and motivate. That’s performance.

Start with yourself. Start from your own personal experiences. There’s so much fitness out there. You’re not going to say anything about a pushup where all of a sudden I’ll say “Oh, THAT’S what a pushup is”. It’s the idea that you can bring some experience to that. 

(34:00) You have to be vulnerable.

Look at Richard Simmons. He was tremendously entertaining, but a big reason why was because of how much he would open up and be vulnerable with people.

Don’t hide behind a “wall” or the Instagram effect- “my life is perfect”

(35:00) Do I have an “IT” factor?

Talent is something you’re born with. You can learn the mechanics of some of them. If you’re good at fitness, but don’t like the idea of entertaining, then this is going to be challenging for you. As a fitness professional, and you are in front of a group of people- you are an entertainer, and you have to prepare to go in there and entertain, and lead an excellent workout. There is so much that makes you worth watching…

Look at the Food Network. The only way to have 24 hour cooking shows is not so you can show someone how to fry an egg, but to tell them about how your Aunt Millie fried and egg and the experience of cooking with her growing up- while you’re cooking that egg. What kept you there was the story, and the engagement of that chef. 

(41:20) Mason hates trainers who say in class “we’re gonna have fun today”

Your job is to have fun, so that your participants have fun. Not to tell everyone that they’re going to have fun. Your JOB is to have fun. It’s your job to figure out how to make it enjoyable. If you’re gritting your teeth thinking “I’m not that type of trainer”. There are people that love horror movies. There are people that love roller coasters. It’s all entertaining. You have to find how you are entertaining. You don’t have to be telling jokes. 

(44:00) It’s easy nowadays to practice

Record yourself on your phone. Watch yourself teach. Watch newscasters and hosts. Learn from others and everything to learn what works and what doesn’t work. 

(46:00) For studio owners or people looking for talent.

Look for all the things you think you’re looking for. Someone who looks god and has a personality, but also… look for a person who’s passionate about learning and growing within a space- and provide them with that space to learn and grow in.

(47:00) Here are some steps you can take to empower your talent

Hire someone to come in and work with talent. Find someone who has a lot of experience to help people develop talent. 

Recognize that change is inevitable. Instructors will come and go- that’s a given, but if you provide an environment that promotes personal growth, they’re going to stick around a lot longer, and they’ll probably circle back to have a relationship with you in the future in some other way!

Don’t let people leave because they’re uninspired and bored, but because they’ve grown to something else and are ready for the next thing.

If you want a trainer to do well- invest in them, and know that you can’t hold them down. Don’t try to limit them. They’re going to wind up doing better and bring more clients in.

Never tell your trainers what they can’t do, unless it’s in direct competition to what you’re doing.

“All ships rise with the tide”. Your studio will grow and perform better with the growth and improvements of your trainers. Make it so that you are turning trainers down.

References in the Episode:

Be sure to check out all of the links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Mega Mace Fitness


Missing Richard Simmons

Shay’s YouTube Video

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