By Pete Williams
Business Week ran a fascinating story last week on the “rise of the celebrity trainer.”
Being a celebrity trainer is a tough gig. Sure, it can pay well. But it’s a challenge landing clients and tending to folks who can be more than a little high maintenance. This is true whether you train actors, music stars, or athletes.
Jake Steinfeld (“Body by Jake,” left) created the celebrity trainer category back in the 1980s and later parlayed that into an empire of infomercials and fitness equipment. I remember talking to Jake about 10 years ago at the NSGA SuperShow in Atlanta and asking him if he still trained celebrities. He literally shuddered at the question, presumably glad to have moved on to other things.
Unfortunately for trainers, the fastest and most effective way to get noticed and become wealthy, if not a celebrity yourself, is to train celebrities. That’s the route to publicity and exposure, and possibly book deals, videos, equipment, etc. Even Jillian Michaels trains celebrities, at least those with fleeting celeb status on The Biggest Loser.
Perhaps not surprisingly, according to Business Week, there’s even a guy (John Spencer Ellis) giving a seminar on how to become a celebrity trainer for $297 a pop.