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A lot of women assume that I just ‘comp prep’. This couldn’t be further from the truth! I have also heard over the past couple of years things like ‘did your business survive the lockdowns?’, ‘are you still coaching?’

I find the questions surprising, as yes, I am still coaching. I am ALWAYS coaching. I love it. Literally nothing will ever stop me. BUT I can see why the misconception is there, as I am lazy with social media when compared with other fitness businesses! 

To learn more about me and my biz, read on, or watch my latest YouTube video where I speak about it in detail 🙂 

 1. I never ‘planned’ to coach, it all came about by accident. 

I always wanted to run my own business, trying my hand in a few areas including a fashion label from 2009-2012. But fitness was always my number one love. With body and health issues to boot, I needed a place to sort through them so I could heal and grow in the best way possible. 

I worked as a PT in multiple gyms, helping with technique, weight loss and nutrition until I started to find my ‘niche’ – I just loved helping women feel good in their bodies. As I had racked up a lot of skills around physique building and nutrition with all of this research and practice (driven by my own obsession with achieving this ‘perfect’ body), I started applying these methods to my female clients, they got amazing transformations, I (or most often they) posten them on social media, and the clientele just kept on coming

I ended up being known for creating amazing female bodies out of seemingly nothing. Now things have moved beyond this but I do still love a recomp client. 

Online coaching was an accident too! I started taking online clients because I was just too full. Online coaching was not a thing back then. I would get client after client and instead of turning them away, I came up with the idea of doing ‘online’. I charged them half the price, and thus the online training component of my business was born. I had one condition – they had to come and see me for technique in the beginning, and for each new program. This meant I could meet them in person, ensure they had the correct training technique and that they were handling the whole process in a healthy way. 

I think any PT who doesn’t have any kind of in person checkup system in place without having years of in person experience behind them is reckless and has no place in the industry. Dieting is dangerous and personal training is more than just getting someone to do a pushup.   

2. I’ve been doing in-person PT for 21 years

Shocked? I joined the industry when I was 18 (2001), so that was 21 years ago. I have worked in over 10 gyms, and I have been working full time for this entire time, with the exception of 3 years where I studied Design and I worked as a PT part-time. 

The highlight of my PT career and something I am so grateful for is the time I spent working in what is formerly known as Elite Physique. I started working there when I was 23, around 2006, and I continued working there until 2014. In those 8 years, all I did was either work a floor shift, where my job was to walk around and help members with their technique, or I was training a client. 

Why was this gym so good? It was a powerlifting and bodybuilding gym, the only one of it’s kind in canberra and there were about 8 of us PTs working there full time, all training hard, obsessed with weights and body recomposition, and we learned from each other and built our brands up with the supervision of other great trainers. I am forever blessed to have worked there as it set me up for a lifetime of success in the fitness industry with base level skills that no online trainer will ever be able to match. 

 3. I used to think social media was a negative thing, so I never used it. For that reason, my social media is only showing the tiniest insight into what I actually do. 

I started coaching way before social media, and at the time I didn’t think it was a ‘thing’. I thought it was fake, as most of the content I saw on there were people I know making statements that aren’t true. For that reason and time reasons, I invested no effort into social media. My business is word of mouth and I have never needed it. 

I also feel that coaching work is deeply personal. Most of my clientele aren’t just working on losing weight. They’re working on emotional blocks, and this is personal, so I don’t think social media is the place to share these kinds of breakthroughs. 

Fast-forward to 2022, and I wish I had had a better mindset around it. I wish I had seen it as a place to promote truth rather than just being triggered by untruth. But, it is what it is, that was my journey and my focus was elsewhere. Now people think I have no clients and are constantly asking me if I’m ‘still coaching’ 😂 I will be upping my social media game in the future though, as truth is needed more than ever and I don’t see it going away any time soon! 

 4. I am concerned with the health and happiness of my clients, and how they feel within their bodies. How they look is a secondary focus. 

I am always looking into motivations behind weight loss – is it to feel better, learn about nutrition, and prioritise themselves? That’s a motivation I will accept. Is it because they’re associating it with some kind of external reward at the end? That’s a motivation I won’t work with, unless they are willing to look deeper. I also rarely ask to post before and after as I feel this is personal to the client. 

I have had clients leave because I refuse to do something that they want, because I know (or at least suspect) it will hurt them in the long term. This is OK. Often I see them with another trainer or coach afterwards and this is OK too. We all have different motivations behind our businesses and different life experiences that lead us to make the decisions we do. But for me, it’s health, happiness, and love for oneself. That’s it. If that comes with an amazing physique too, then great!

5. I use subconscious reprogramming and energy work to support my clients more deeply 

Many of my clients, let’s say over 70%, have an interest in feeling better from the inside out. They aren’t just trying to get skinny, or trying to get on stage as a bucket list item (which is fine by the way, competing for the experience is a great reason to compete). Some of my clients are purely mindset clients, working through blocks in my online courses and where needed, we ‘unblock’ their limiting beliefs to help them on their way. This approach works when someone has a good idea of what is going on, or what their patterns are. 

Where this knowledge is absent or suppressed, I use reiki, which is a subtle energy healing practice that provides deeper insight into things the body may be holding on to. I speak on what I saw in the session, and this starts a dialogue which we can then dive deeper into. 

So it’s not just about the appearance or the loss of body weight, it’s about the health and clarity of the mind and the energetic body space. We often have limiting beliefs and stuck energy that make long term change almost impossible and by uncovering and transforming them, the outside changes are more likely to stick. It’s hard to express that in a social media post you just see the ‘before and after’. 

6. Competition prep is only 10% of my business 

I have 45 clients at any one time, and at the moment only 7 of them are competition prep clients. Competition prep was once around 75% of my business, but I have been phasing it out to make way for more holistic coaching practices. 

I LOVE competition prep. I really do. I just feel a lot of pressure to steer away from it as what I really offer in my business is much deeper than that, and much of the public perception of competition prep is that it is ‘shallow’. While this is true for many women who compete, it is not true for all. So I feel this aspect of my business make it hard for me to focus on those body-image, nutrition-for-health messages as people automatically put me in that ‘fitness girl’ box. 

So I do a few prep clients, then there are some who I just love to train and who have trained with me for many years, and the rest are body recomposition clients but as mentioned above, my goal for them is to have them reach a place of happiness in both mind and body. 

I feel there are plenty of prep coaches out there now too, and so long as the client is healthy in mind and body, they will be able to have the competition experience with another coach. I mostly take on women who need that extra level of knowledge or support, so if I feel I can offer them something that no one else can, and I have space at the time, then I will take them on. Everyone else I refer out to other coaches. 

7. I would rather someone feels happy in their body as it is, then to diet down and not be happy

If I sense that someone wants to lose weight to feel happy, I will call it out and we will work on that issue. I will not diet someone who isn’t interested in learning the craft of healthy living – tracking macros to gain an understanding of nutrition, training with balance, working through mindset blocks, and increasing health and vitality 

Losing weight does not make you happy but the things you learn along the way to losing the weight do – nutrition, boundaries, balance, sleep, healthy gut, femininity, body acceptance. So often I will have a client cancel coaching not because she has reached her ‘dream body’, but because she has reached a place of peace and happiness within her body. 

8. I have really deep and honest conversations with most of my clients 

I love personal development, and I love to learn about people. With a long history of mental health issues, I am comfortable with almost any discussion, no matter how confronting. I probably should have been a psychologist really! I love the human condition. 

So we talk about everything, I tell them almost everything about my journey, we learn from each other and this is 10000% the reason why I have had so much success in my business over the years. It is important that people feel seen and safe, especially when dealing with matters of the mind and body. 

9. I spend over $20k per year on furthering my education, and broadening my horizons so I can be a better coach. 

With a launch coming, this is the first time I have ever deliberately ‘branded’ my business, It has a name for the first time, a structure, and a long-term plan moving forwards. I am very excited. With that being said, I don’t think people quite understand what it takes to run a successful business. 

If I was genetically elite, shredded all year round and 23-years old with a pro card, maybe I wouldn’t have to do things the ‘hard’ way. But I do, because I am a normal human being and I am far from ‘elite’ when it comes to the gene pool. I’ve had a hard life and nothing has ever come easily to me. 

I focus on being a better, wiser, stronger woman in order to secure stability as a business owner in a saturated market, rather than on focussing on my body. The body fades and there are more ridiculously perfect women entering the industry every day. 

So I spend a lot of money and I am totally cool with that. As my clients, and/or followers, you get to reap the rewards of that!

So those are the things I don’t think you knew about my business! Or, did you? Comment below if any took you by surprise?

Jen x






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