Confessions of a Personal Trainer: The One With the “Too Busy” Client

by Juan Antonio

New writing series with stories from being out in the field and why the fitness industry is not designed for getting people results.


The situation: Chris’s doctor told him he had “borderline high blood pressure” of 130/85 (normal is 120/80) and a high triglycerides count of 210 mg/dL (normal is <150 mg/dL). He freaked out and found the fittest guy at the office. That guy (an ex-client) sent Chris to our success stories and Chris reached out. Chris has lost 10 pounds already, but still needs to lose about 25 more pounds of body fat. Dealing with Chris is like trying to talk with that one friend you have, who’s always texting on the phone while you’re trying to have a conversation at dinner – he’s always partially checked in.

What the client says: “I’m just so distracted this week (every week if we’re being honest). My eating healthy intention is shit. Some days are good, some days not so good, and some days I swear, the dog eats healthier than me. I don’t know what happens to me. I guess it just… you know… gets away from me…There’s so much going on at the office and at home. I feel like I never get a fucking break. And everyone wants everything fucking yesterday, you know? The kids. The wifey. My fucking Boss. My team. I’m always rushing around, and before I can figure out what happened, it’s 9PM, I’m hungry as hell, and I don’t have anything on hand. All I can think about is the Taco Bell a mile down the road. Then I make a trip to Taco Bell…Fuck man, I just wish everyone would leave me alone some days…I want and deserve some ‘me time’. I feel like I just can’t get anything done. Like I’m always running behind failing to catch up. If it’s not one thing, it’s some other bullshit. I feel like I’m just not never going to reach my fat loss goal.”

The story:

Chris’s phone rings. “Sorry JA, I gotta take this. Back in one minute.”

(He paces around outside, shaking his head and screaming obscenities.)

Five minutes later – how was the call Chris?

“It’s going to be a shit storm when I get back to the office.”

I see. It never really gets easy does it? Tell you what, I actually want you to walk on the treadmill at 5% to warm up today. That’s right – no dynamic warm up to start. I know, crazy right? Here’s why. I wanted to talk you about a couple of things and I want you to really listen to me.

92% Attention Span

First of all, starting immediately, we’re going to be operating from a new rule going forward. I call it “Chris’s Law.” I named it after a good, hard working guy I know. He can be a real jerk sometimes. Mostly when he’s tired, hungry or super stressed out.

Here’s how “Chris’s Law” works. Upon entering the training center, your phone is put on silent mode and it goes in my pocket. Yes, my pocket. I know it’s a crazy idea and I know something crazy could happen at any moment, but here’s the thing: you can’t be in two places at once.

No matter how hard you try, you just can’t. You’re here to lose body fat, move better and get your health back in order. Once you walk through the door, that’s my only focus. I want that to be your only focus too.

The problem is, everytime you walk in, you’re half here and half at work. What the fuck is up with that? You can’t drive and tie your shoe at the same time, so why try that while training?


My training plan only works if you and I are present and focused on the now 100% of the time. I get that you’re a “busy” person in demand, so I’ll settle for a 92% attention span. I’ll fill in the 8% gap for you. You know what happens if we drop below that 92% attention span threshold? We get shitty results and a half-ass training experience. I don’t want that.

Do you?

“No. But what if something insanely crazy happens at the office and my team needs me?”

Two things Chris. 1) If something super, insanely crazy happens, then it happens and you’ll just have to deal with it when you walk out the gym and get into the office. You’re team will have to learn to survive without you for 90 minutes two times a week when you see me (an hour of training and 15 minutes of driving to/from training). 2) Because you do have many projects in the air, I will check your phone one time per session, half way in, looking for “911! 911! 911!” texts. Other than that, unless your wife calls an obscene amount of consecutive times, it doesn’t qualify as life or death.

Do you understand? Does that make sense?

“I don’t…”

These are yes or no questions Chris; do you understand? Does that make sense?

“Yes and yes. But I don’t think I can do this.”

I know you can do this.

“Okay, I’ll try, but…”

Do you know what Yoda said about trying?

“Fuck, that’s a good one.”

We’re just going to do this Chris. This is non-negotiable.

Work With Life, Not Against It

I know you think I’m being insensitive to your crazy work schedule, but in reality, I’m just trying to help you. I care about you. This is me being real with you. Because you know what, I used to be just like you.

Meaning, my phone and work were pretty much my only life. I was completely, 113% obsessed with it – checking emails, campaigns, ads, wireframes, UI/UX, meeting with people, R&D, PRD’s – I NEVER turned off Chris. That life fucking sucks. I know it all too well. I don’t want for you.

Here’s the one life hack you need to remember: work with life, not against it.


You can’t control all the people vying for your attention everyday, but you can control how you choose to respond to all these demands.

Here’s the main reason I want you to do this Chris: you need a sanctuary in your life. Every waking moment of your life, you’re getting pulled in 25 different directions. From now on, your gym time with me, will be your chance to be “OFF” from the world.

If you ready to have your gym become a sanctuary, let 24/7 Coach create the experience for you.

It will be your two times out of the week where you won’t be talking about all the BS issues at home and at work – you do that enough. Instead, you’re going to lift some heavy ass weights, you’re doing to destroy the treadmill, and we’re going to laugh about all the stupid shit happening in the UFC right now.

Drink Your Power Shake

Secondly, according to your food journal, your nutrition is all over the place. Breakfast is solid – you’re super consistent with it, but lunch is a 50-50 toss up and dinner is a real shit show. All this is happening due to your lack of planning. That’s silly as you run an entire operations division where you plan out each and every week on various business levels.

Why can’t you do that with the simple strategic nutrition plan I gave you?

“I don’t know. It is simple, I just…fuck me…I don’t have a real answer.”

Check it out Chris, there’s so much going on in your life, that we’re not even going to try to add more things for you to do. Here’s what we’re going to do instead. You remember those power shakes you’re loving so much?

“They’re fucking awesome!”

I know. All I want you to do is make an extra one for breakfast and bring with you to the office. When shit gets wild at the office, you’re going to walk to the break room fridge and drink your power shake.

Pizza got ordered at office? So what – drink your shake.

Co-workers inviting you to that greasy Chinese food place? So what – drink your power shake.

Not hungry? So what – drink your power shake.

fuck you pay me

Swap out pay me for “drink your shake.”

Do you see the plan yet?

No matter what happens, you’re only task it to drink your fucking power shake. I don’t care if you pound it in one gulp or sip it for 45 minutes. All that matters is that sometime between 1030am and 2pm, you drink it. If your assistant has to get it and bring it to you, that’ll count.

In terms of dinner, you’re stepping up to the big leagues. Since you pretty much miss dinner with that family most days of the week, you’re going to use that online, delivers-food-to-your-door company called Munchery. Monday through Thursday, you’ll order food, they’ll deliver it, and you’ll eat it.

“My wife is going to kill me. I don’t think she’ll be okay with this.”

She just might, but I think she’ll want to kill me first if you don’t lose those 25 pounds of fat and get your health back. You can tell her it was entirely my idea. Trust me, she’ll be okay with it when you starting losing body fat every week.

And I tell you what Chris, if she gives you shit, you just tell her to hold on, give her my number and I’ll talk to her to explain to her the situation and the game plan. I’ll deal with it.

“I don’t this it will work.”

It will if you try it. I know this is crazy, but we need to get serious and crazy times call for crazy measures. We’ll just try it.

What do you have to lose by trying? Absolutely nothing (except body fat).

Here’s how simple it will be: I’ll tell you what foods options from the menu are in line with your fat loss goal, you’ll order it and then all you have to do is fucking eat it.

Looking at their site right now, they have a special running for 14 days. What you’ll do is use those 14 days as a test period for this approach. Then we’ll simply re-assess in 14 days.

What do you think? Are you willing to give this a try for 14 days?

“Well, how do we start?”

It’s simple: you say “yes” to the plan and we start.

Here’s the action plan review I’m going to text you when you leave:

  1. Per Chris’s Law, no phone usage allowed at The Lab anymore.
  2. You’ll make two servings of your power shake every day – bringing your second shake with you to drink at the office.
  3. Drink your power shakes every day – No. Matter. What. Just fucking drink it.
  4. Dinner prepared via Muchery for the next 14 days.
  5. Have one quality glass of wine and meal with your wife per week.

Yeah, I snuck that fifth option in there. Remember that sanctuary idea we talked about?

Well, during that one glass of wine and meal per week, I want you to create a sanctuary with your wife too. No work BS. No life BS. Just sit down, turn off the phone, drink, eat and enjoy each other’s company. You have a good woman in your life, she deserves the respect of your attention.

Are you ready to begin?

Are you ready to begin? Please, start, now. Your body & family are counting on you.

There is only trained and untrained.

Saul Juan Antonio Cuautle
Founder & CEO

Friends don’t let friends mindlessly “workout.” Friends help and support each other. Help your friends as they try to make positive changes in their life. Give them the gift of 24/7 Coach. If you know of anyone who may benefit from this content, please share it with them.

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