Pete Holman is a man who has worn many hats throughout his illustrious career in the fitness industry. But he is an exception to the “jack of all trades, master on none” label that describes many others. Quite the contrary. In fact, Pete is a master of many.
>> Pete is a certified strength & conditioning specialist and leading fitness expert who has educated trainers and delivered lectures all over the world on biomechanics, core strength and functional performance training.
>> After receiving his Master’s in Physical Therapy and working at Aspen Sports Medicine Clinic, he opened up his own private practice. His client list has included Fortune 500 hundred business owners from Jones Apparel, Progressive Insurance and Fiji water as well as celebrities including Ed Bradley and Kevin Costner.
>> Finding a passion in TaeKwon-Do, he made the US national team after only two-and-a- half years of training and three years later became US team captain and national champion.
>> He is a leading product innovator. Pete’s dedication to advancing the fitness industry has inspired him to create multiple products that continue to impact fitness enthusiasts and athletes worldwide. His first product, The Functional Training Rack, was licensed to Perform Better in 2008. His second product, the RIPCORE-FX, was acquired by TRX and is now referred to as the TRX Rip Trainer and has grossed over $20 million in worldwide sales. Another product, a plate loaded Hip Thrust machine called the Glute Drive, was licensed to Nautilus and became their number one selling commercial strength product, selling over 2000 units in its first year.
>> Pete recently authored his first book, a fictional piece called CRUZ, published by Scriptor Publishing. A book for the underdog, it is an inspirational story of adversity and growth.
For Pete, it isn’t just about what he’s accomplished in his career. It’s about who he has become along the way. Through all the peaks and valleys, he has maintained focus with help from a quote by Bruce Lee that has always resonated with him: “In every passionate pursuit, the pursuit counts more than the object pursued.”
Pete explains, “What he’s saying is, you can have goals, but it’s the work, the discipline, the dedication and the path towards those goals that make you who you are. Through that hard work and adversity is when we really come into ourselves and actualize our human potential. It’s all about the pursuit.”
Throughout his journey to greatness, he has never wavered in his mission to impact and elevate others. In these trying times, Pete Holman is a voice of reason and a pillar of strength when many need it most. He shares with us what he’s learned from adversity and how that might help today’s fitness professionals:
You’ve been forthcoming about having gone through times of struggle during your career. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom you’d like to share with those who may be in a similar situation right now? First and foremost, preparedness is everything. About 10 years ago, when I was launching the RIPCORE-FX, what people didn’t see was that behind the scenes, I lost my house in the process. I was sacrificing my hours as a trainer and went all in on this business. I’m not saying I regret that, but the point is I wasn’t prepared financially for distress.
One of the things we struggle with most as trainers is that we work from the heart in our desire to want to improve people’s health, wellness and vitality. We don’t always have the best financial acumen and resources. The first conversation I have with someone who wants to be mentored is to get your finances in line and make sure you have some reserve money in the bank so when adversity comes you’re not handcuffed or swimming in deep water because of an external situation.
Rule #1 is learn your lesson. Sometimes lessons are hard-learned. I learned a very hard lesson when I lost the house. That’s why this time around I’m in a position where I’m not panicking that I’ll lose anything of magnitude. Rule #2: It’s a time to really be nimble. It’s a tremendous opportunity because the “I don’t have time” clients have time now. We have the ability as trainers and coaches to hone in on their diet/ nutrition, stretching programs and on their exercise routine. With clients who typically can only train two times a week, it’s a good time to bump it up to three times a week. Maybe even give a price break so the client thinks they’re getting a deal, but the trainer is actually still making more money than they would normally. Rule #3: This really is a great time to spend time on professional development. We get into this business because we love to help people improve their health, fitness and vitality. But after we get to be hot-shot trainers and we’re booked out, it gets tiring being out on the floor 11 hours a day. Are you interested in online coaching? Have you ever wanted to launch a podcast? Maybe you want to do some writing and build a website because you want to grow and build your brand. Think like a business. ‘What is my vision? What is my mission statement?’ How can I package myself as a leader in this niche?’ This is a unique opportunity where you have three, four, five hours a day now to really hone in on some of these projects. Act now and seize the day, and in 6-8 weeks you could be an expert.
What are some of the blind spots that hinder many of today’s fitness professionals? A lot of the younger professionals really expect things to happen overnight. That’s to some extent the nature of our society. We’re very convenience-oriented… immediate access to our cellphones and information and content. For the majority of successful business owners, it takes them years to develop their skillset and to actualize success in their industry. I think just having patience, being diligent and not expecting things to come overnight, because it is through that adversity and that process that we come to actualize our potential and really learn how to succeed in business. Hone your skills and over time you’ll become the expert that you want to be.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career? How did you remedy that mistake and how has it made you better? My biggest mistake was not trusting my instinct with my second product RIPCORE-FX. The product was selling like hotcakes. We had delivered a dozen continuing education courses with 5-star reviews and were set to launch at IHRSA 2011. However, we needed to raise more capital and I started to become overwhelmed with both financial and time constraints. When we were approached by TRX, it was like the most attractive woman in the room walking up and asking you to get married. TRX was leading the world in functional training, had a huge platform and was aligned with our product and education. We were smitten by them and agreed to a deal.
It was a constant struggle to fight for internal resources, time and money to bolster what came to be known as the TRX Rip Trainer, and I eventually lost interest. Hindsight is always 20/20, but if I had to do it over again, I would have trusted my skills, my team and my instincts and kept my company. This experience taught me a great lesson and has inspired me to search for a product that I can launch on my own, build my own team and swing for the fences… stay tuned!
Was there ever a time in your career where you felt like you were just spinning your wheels? If so, how did you get through that and on to something better? There have been many different phases of my life and some have been filled with tremendous adversity. To be completely transparent, I am in a challenging phase currently. I have been a Personal Trainer for nearly 30 years and a Physical Therapist for 23 and although I love what I do, I feel my body starting to break down. Additionally, I have other interests such as presenting, educating and product design and development. I am currently develop-ing digital online education and coaching programs and preparing to launch my latest product. One practice that I am in the habit of doing is creating a year-to-year strategic plan. In this plan, I list out my two to three big objectives for the year and usually one “pie in the sky” vision. If your plan is to expand your practice, open your own facility, write a book or create a product, you have to plan for it! I expand my plan to include every detail about action steps, timelines, revenue forecasts, systems needed and then I simply go out and follow the plan. Of course, life throws us curveballs so we need to be nimble and pivot when necessary.
What is in your future one year from now? Five years from now? I often think about my future and my legacy. My goal in the next few years is to align myself with products, education and consulting that allows me to have maximum impact on worldwide fitness. Most of us in this industry are geared towards positively impacting someone’s life, just like my TaeKwon-Do instructor did for me 30 years ago. Similarly, my largest dream is to have people using my products and content long after I am gone to achieve optimal health, wellness and vitality.