Zach Even-Esh and Joe DeFranco didn’t become strength coaches overnight, they had to start somewhere. For Joe, that meant starting in a storage closet – no, that wasn’t a typo, it clearly said “storage closet.” Zach started in a garage. They’ve come up with four tips for aspiring strength coaches/personal trainers. Find An Inexpensive Location As you can imagine, the rent of a storage closet or garage isn’t a huge chomp out of the fraying wallet in your back pocket. So, find a place – basically anywhere with some empty space will do. Zach suggests racquetball courts, tennis courts, mixed martial arts clubs and karate schools. “Any area inside a health club – heck – it could even be a back corner!” Zach said. “It may not be the picture-perfect place you’ve always wanted, but it’s good enough to get you started and get things rolling.” Believe it or not, most people won’t start training others because they can’t find a location. They start looking for a warehouse in a light industrial zone to buy. You don’t need that to start. You just need somewhere that has a bit of downtime and some available space for your training. “Think of places you can rent for $300 to $500,” Zach suggested. “Say you charge $195 to train clients for a month. If you get two clients, you basically already paid off the rent! If you take in 10 clients, you’d get close to two-grand.” The location you rented may eventually get too small, but once again, you don’t have to buy a big space. Just find a bigger space to rent. “Obviously the storage closet was too small for the entire girls basketball team I was training,” Joe sarcastically said. “So, at the same health club, I rented out racquetball courts, brought the girls in there and used dumbbells.” If you can find an inexpensive place by clients you want to target, you’ve got a gold mine bigger than any Leprechaun’s measly pot-of-gold! Zach’s friend rented a small area in a wrestling club and only trained wrestlers. Since he was always in front of potential clients, he was constantly marketing himself to them. “Nothing can be easier than picking up clients you’re always in front of,” Zach said. “In the racquetball court, I felt like I was performing on-stage with the amount of people watching,” Joe said. “Which was great because it was free advertisement of my training. Parents walked up to me after sessions to ask my name, who the girls were and so on…it worked out great.” Give Away Free Stuff “Offer two hour seminars, one day clinics, anything for free so you can get your foot in the door,” Zach said. Zach had a connection at a wrestling club. He offered to give a free bodyweight clinic at summer wrestling camp. The owner loved the idea and Zach was on his way to training 25 – 35 guys. However, only eight showed up. Out of the eight, three signed up for Zach’s strength training sessions. One of those three wrestlers ended up becoming a three-time national high school champion. This was huge for Zach because when kids learned who trained the champ, they wanted to take strength training from him.

Use Your Resources “Leverage people you know,” Zach said. “Take advantage of it.” Zach keeps in touch with the wrestling champ and his dad. They always give him recommendations that are pertinent to his business. One of Joe’s clients still plays an important part in his business as well. The long-time client of Joe’s got a job at an all-girls high school as the physical education teacher and track coach. The big topic at the school just happened to be prom. Girls wanted to lose weight for the biggest dance of the year. This concerned the principal because some of the girls weren’t going about it in the healthiest way. Through Joe’s client, he was asked to be a guest speaker at a school assembly and discuss proper nutrition with the girls and their parents. However, he had to find out why these girls would want to train. Find a Trigger Point Finding a trigger point is exactly that – finding out what exactly it is that motivates people to train. In Joe’s case, girls are very sensitive and somewhat concerned about getting too big or bulky. Therefore, these girls weren’t concerned about strength, but they wanted to look good in a prom dress. He tied in proper nutrition with strength training. Joe stressed that getting your muscles stronger would help the girls burn more calories at rest, which would help them get into smaller jeans and a smaller dress size. “I asked the girls, what happens when you cook a burger? Does it get bigger or smaller?” Joe said. “Obviously, they all said it got smaller. Then I explained, when you drop all the fat, what’s left is the muscle and that is a lot smaller. I got about 60 new girls the next week.” Aside from the girls being excited to look good in their prom dresses, the track team got stronger and ended up winning the state championship that year. “It wouldn’t have worked if I talked to the girls about what was important to me, so I talked about what was important to them and in the long run, it worked,” Joe said.

Zach Even–Esh is a performance coach for athletes and the owner of the Underground Strength Gym in Edison, New Jersey. You can learn more about his methods at or Joe is one of this countries most highly sought after performance enhancement specialists. Joe has trained over 500 high school and college athletes from various sports. This includes All-State and All-American performers in football, baseball, wrestling, basketball, track & field, lacrosse and hockey. 31 of Joe’s athletes have been drafted by the NFL. Joe has developed a reputation for achieving previously unheard of results with his athletes. He is considered one of the most highly respected trainers in the world. Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at