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How Kai Fusser Went From $8/hour to Elite Trainer

By Sean Greeley

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Special guest speaker Kai Fusser shares his fitness business success story at the NPE Mega-Training Event 2009.

Kai Fusser, the owner of the Annika Academy, started his career in fitness at YMCA without certification earning $8 an hour. He eventually started coaching athletes as he saw growing opportunities in the sports industry in Orlando. 

While fitness training wasn’t too common among golfers, he managed to take on training a female golfer and they focused on muscle gains by traditional workout and she was able to increase her performance by gaining 20 meters, which is a 10% increase. He said one perfect client is what you need to get started to grow in the industry.

Watch Kai’s presentation and learn how he started and grew his career in the fitness industry.

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Podcast Transcript

I was working actually at the YMCA. I drove by, I didn’t know after I lost the business, I was like, What the heck am I gonna do now? So I drove by YMCA. I was like, maybe we need a trainer in there. I didn’t have a trainer license or anything I get that. And I walked in there to YMCA and they said was brand new was just open for like six weeks. It was like No, not here se Orlando. And girlfriend, they say, yeah, I think they’re looking for a trainer. So I talked to human resources. Yeah, we’re looking for trainer. I said, Well, I don’t have any certification yet, or you can get with while we go along. So. So I got one while I went along. And I made $1 an hour, which, you know, owning a $2 million business going back to $8 an hour. And it wasn’t all that easy. But I knew it, you know, it’ll be okay. Something will happen. So when I was always dreaming, how can I find I would love to find somebody that has a lot of potential, and take my philosophies or whatever I learned and put it on them, and see if I can make that person better. So along came this woman right here. She moved to Orlando. And she was looking for a trainer. At that time, I started work with a lot of my friends wakeboarder since years, one of them is Dan Shapiro. And I’ll tell you about him here in a minute. And I help them with their stuff. And I put my program on them and Wes will go through my Proving Grounds. Of course, those guys, you can’t hurt girl, 17 1819 years old. We’re not afraid to fall or do dumb stuff. So we do a lot of trial and error with them. But anyways, she was interviewing trainer and her husband was interviewing different trainers here in Orlando. And there’s a there’s a lot of trainers in Orlando, especially for golf course. I want to say 50% of the PGA lives here and probably 60% of LPGA lives here. Of course, it’s so good to be in Orlando for golf. And, you know, we decided on me, I don’t know why Really? I had no clue about golf. Why would I watch a women’s golf? I wasn’t extreme sports, you know, my life until then. So women’s golf Come on. So anyways, I met her. And the good thing was that I didn’t know about golf, I think because I didn’t have any pre existing knowledge or conceptions or whatever you want to call it. And I saw her recognize right away in the first hour we work together but she’s a true athlete. And I used the same program I used to my wake boarders and skiers and put it on her, which at bedtime fitness for golf was a little bit of rubber band, a little bit of jogging on the treadmill and a lot of stretching. Picking up a dumbbell, you know. So on the men’s side, it was Tiger on the women’s side, it was Arnica. And it worked out very well. Right here when this was successful, her was 2001 she was a number one player in the world. She won eight LPGA win at tournaments that year. Nobody’s ever done that before. Up till that time. Why would she want to change something? Why would she want to go and start working out all of a sudden now? pursuit of perfection How can I improve? That was her question she was 54th and trying to distance 15th and accuracy. She wanted to prove that golf can be an athletic sport or as an ethics board and now you see it you know the one side when when most of the fittest ones which is Tiger It was her she retired last year. Lorena Ochoa, you know, Trevor mln he won the Masters really fit guy so we changed the face of golf in that regard, you know, we’re getting fitter and fitter.

Unknown Speaker
Trying to prove I’m an athlete and going to prove golf is a real sport. which way to go with state of fitness and golf, like I said only rubber bands a little this and that. The fear of doing a wrong fitness. I saw the athlete nanika and the type of workout I put on her. And we did a lot a lot a lot of heavy weights. She did 300 pound squats, 150 pound benchpress, which is quite a bit for a woman. We did a lot of chest stuff back stuff, a lot of traditional, you know, Workout, so to speak, along with other stuff worked out really well. In November 2001 till April 2002, she gained 20 meters that’s about 20 to 23 yards, which will professional golfer is a whole lot that was almost 10% for her. That made a huge difference right there. She went to number one in driving distance, and at the same time to number two an accuracy which was unheard off. Everybody would say if you hit it longer, you’re gonna lose your accuracy. Or she managed to do both increase bounds and powerful shots from a rough and bunker improved energy, energy and stamina. 13 wins worldwide in 2002, which means we want over 50% of the tournament she entered in 2002. Nobody’s ever done that before Female Athlete of the Year, twice a year. It was all of all female athletes. So she beat a lot of good athletes, a lot of Olympians, which was you know, for me Actually, I mean, I was very, very happy about that to take a golfer and make them Female Athlete of the Year. And obviously from from my side she is a dream client. She is probably the smartest person I know. And she’s unbelievably dedicated and I learned a lot from her and what she Did and her golf career she’s doing her fitness career in business career now, it’s just unbelievable what the woman is doing through inspiration. Here, just a few pictures left, it was in her gym actually, in the middle right here, just typical little fist pump, not quite as big as tigers, but a good start. On the right, you see we did a lot of pull ups, a lot of push ups, main thing for me was to get a woman stronger from here to here. From here on down, we’re almost as strong as we are, as the guys are. From here on up here only have half a muscle fibers we do. So it was very important to get a stronger upper body, especially for golf, especially to hit longer. And to learn how to hit it like a guy, of course, we kind of whack it a little bit more, women kind of guided a little bit more. So it was very important to get a stronger body, she she couldn’t do pull up no matter. And I bet she won’t do one for the next four weeks. And she bet me $20. And Alas, she did four of them within three weeks. I learned right away never met a woman. And she would do a lot of bets in in tournaments, before tournaments in practice rounds, and I’ve never seen her lose. So here she does pull up this 25 pounds hanging on her hips. And that’s quite a feat for a woman. Principles offer right training. So while I was going along, I came up with some principles. And I just want to quickly go through it, you have it in your papers. And I’m not here to teach you your training principles. But maybe you can pick up a few ideas or research a little bit about it. 50% mechanical improvements 50% is nervous system improvements. You have a product of your training, a lot of times we see people and I’m talking obviously, but no high performance people. I know your job a lot of times is a lot harder working with people that need to lose weight or don’t really want to regard but they have to work out. And I think your job is a lot harder than mine. Of course the people that come to me they really want to come. And their job is to work out and get stronger and get better. For you a lot of people they have to come and have to say I’m never good. So I think it’s your job probably to turn the half to this into one two. And that’s a very hard job. So but we see a lot of times people when we workout and they do a reps, you know it’s like no thought into it. And we see it every single rep has to be perfect every single time just if you would practice your golf swing, practice hitting some balls, you put one ball down, you concentrate, think what you want to do, you hit it, that’s the same way every single rep should be done. You don’t want to just mix it up and do it, you know, mindless in front of the TV and watching Oprah. Oprah actually today four o’clock. Sean, I don’t want to take people away, but it’s a holy field and Mike Tyson. And I wonder if it’s life, I don’t know. But it might be a good show to watch Sean, you might want a petrol again. Who knows what’s gonna happen there. Perfect practice makes perfect movement. What we do most is what our body remembers, which is what we’re going to do outside the gym. I carry over exercises. I don’t need to tell you. I don’t use any machines, I’m sure and hope you don’t use any machines. It’s all about standing up and doing things. So the kettlebell movement, thank you.

Unknown Speaker
There’s a lot of good stuff going on out there. And, you know, we’re meant to stand up and move ourselves around. I carry Oryx fast twitch fiber or slow twitch fiber, I think very important. I don’t do any high rep stuff. It’s all low rep stuff in pro golfers. machines, power flow power flows a bit hard to explain. It’s about forces flowing through your body. a physicist would explain it and impulses flowing through your body when you lift something up or when you move something. It’s impulses electrical impulses flowing through your body. And it’s very easy to clock on up for cash flow. Yes, through your body, you get very inefficient. And I’m sure some of you play golf and you know what I mean? You’re all fit in here and you probably can’t hit it anywhere. I have a girl She is 13 she weighs 82 pounds to feel proud about the last two pounds the last four weeks 82 pounds was one of the best golfers already and she had to 240 yards. That’s that’s quite a bit. You know, if I put her and I put her in the on the upper body ergometer, she can put out maybe 150 160 watts of energy. If I get on the upper body gardener, I can put out 400 450 watts. But in my swing, I probably put at 350 watts, I put everything in it I got you know, how can she hit it as long as me, you know, want to being able to produce 150 watts while all our energy goes to the club, it goes to where it’s intended to. My energy stays my body. Of course, I’m gripping it too hard and pulling and pushing and working too much stabilizing things. I don’t need to stabilize so that power flow is very, very important to learn that. And you all are good at some sport, I’m sure and you had that feeling where you did something really incredible and you didn’t even feel it in your body. It just happened. And that’s what you want to do in the gym. Learn that you know I’m totally away from any isolation or squeezing a biceps or anything like that. It’s all about letting it flow. Let the energy go.

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