My First Fitness Product is Coming Soon – Please Tell Me What You Want (Request for HELP!)

posted in: Polls, Uncategorized | 41

Help Me Help You By Answering The 2-Question Survey Below About What Kind of Product You’d Be Most Interested In

John Sifferman
Entering the wilderness.

It’s true. The world knows. The cat’s outta the bag, and the beans have been spilled everywhere. As I mentioned in an article about how I make money from this website that I posted early last month, I’m currently developing a fitness product of my own to sell – for money. Some of you are probably thinking, “heresy!” And others are probably saying that it’s about time (I agree!). Many of you have been encouraging me to create some sort of fitness product for years now, and I’ve finally decided to go through with it.

At first, I was thinking I’d keep the whole project under wraps. It would be my little secret. And I even demanded absolute secrecy of friends and family whom I’ve discussed it with over the past several months. But now that I think about it, I’m starting to feel… meh.

There’s really no point to all this secrecy. In fact, it’s probably terrible marketing to keep something a complete secret for too long. So, at last, I’m revealing my intentions, and I’m throwing in a few perks for my Physical Living readers (that’s YOU! Check the URL above for validation).

So, I guess I’ll just say it then. Mmmhmm, uh-huh, ok then.

For the last several months, I’ve been chipping away at a product idea I’ve had for some time now, but I’ve been wrestling with the fact that it may not be the right one to release – at least, not now. Said another way, I’m starting to think it may be the product that I have wanted to release – not what you want me to release. Now, maybe I’m just letting my mind get the best of me, and if you think that’s the case, then give me a digital beat-down in the comments section below, and tell me to just release the thing!

But here’s the thing: if I release a product, I really want to know what YOU want from me. I don’t want to just open the doors and say “here it is!” only to find that it wasn’t what you guys really wanted in the first place. I created this site for you, after all.

Fortunately, I’m an idea guy. I’ve got ideas everywhere, and I’ve got the white boards, cork boards, sticky notes, and countless Word doc files to prove it!

And I’ve narrowed my list of product ideas down to four of my favorites. Each one is unique and serves a distinct need, and I want to know which of the four you’d be most interested in, if any at all. Please note that I’m not giving away too many details as I don’t want to disclose too many of the specifics. But there should be enough info to help you get the gist of it.

Siff’s 4 Product Ideas

So, if you would be so kind, please read through the following short descriptions and then answer the two question survey below. It shouldn’t take more than 1 minute to complete – even for you extra-hard thinkers.

In no particular order…

Pull-up and Chin-up Coaching System – This would be a user-friendly coaching system to help people master the pull-up and chin-up exercises. The goal of the system would be to meet the client exactly where they are today (in skill and conditioning level, etc.), and take them by the hand, coaching them on how to improve their pull-up performance. This would be for all skill and conditioning levels, whether you can do 20 or 30 pull-ups already, or can’t do a single one. It would take you from ZERO pullups/chinups to ONE, or from FIVE pullups to 50 (if you so desire to go that far).

Ab Training and Core Strengthening Workout Program – This would be a comprehensive ab training program, under the premise that if you want to get great abs, you need a strong core. It would involve a large variety of ab and core strengthening exercises that train the body in all three dimensions and in all six degrees of freedom, and would have a user-friendly, customizable program(s) to follow to help you get the best abs your genetics will provide.

Bodyweight Training Program For Fat Loss and Lean Muscle Gain – This would be a follow-along bodyweight exercise workout program that is customizable to an individuals skill and conditioning level (for beginners and advanced trainees) to help them burn fat and build muscle while improving health and fitness… just with a twist of Siffer-crazy!

Specialized Fitness Program and Strength Training System For Runners – This would be a follow-along workout program designed for runners to help them build a stronger, more injury-resistant body while also helping them to burn fat and get leaner while building some lean body mass, too.


Survey

Which of the following products would you be most interested in, and otherwise, most likely to buy?

View Results

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Which of the following product ideas are you at least somewhat interested in? Check all that apply.

View Results

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Final Words

I’ve collected a lot of feedback from you guys over the past few years (my last survey is here) and have put together some ideas of what I think you’re looking for. That said, the only problem with that equation is that it’s what I – John Sifferman – think is best. Truth be told, I’d rather you guys just tell me what you’re looking for instead of having to guess on my own. My goal with this site and with a product like this is to help as many people as possible – and it just makes sense that you be the ones calling the shots.

So, if you could hit me up with your thoughts/ideas/suggestions, that would make this product’s development at least 10 times easier – maybe even 11. Please post your thoughts below. And if you think I’m crazy, let me know. I’m all ears!

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and tweeps:

CST Coach, CST-KS
Health-First Fitness Coach

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P.P.S. Regardless of which product is chosen, when this thing finally goes for sale, it’s going to be offered at a steep discount for PL readers. I’ll be practically giving it to you. And there may be some free copies available for those whom are interested in beta-testing.

41 Responses

  1. Your proposed products don’t sound particularly differentiated from the zillions of other ab/bodyweight/sports specific programs out there. The pullups one is the most different but is too narrow. Maybe try harder to come up with something more unique. For example, there’s little out there on how to strengthen the small, joint stabilization muscles that are key to being able to actually build the larger muscles successfully and to work with low risk of injury. A well-integrated program would include a significant focus on ways to improve the stabilizers, plus appopriate stretching exercises, and some coverage of other negletcted topics (where stabilizers also play a role) like balance. Throw in some good bodyweight exercise for building mass and accomplishing cardio without equipment and you have interesting material. I don’t mean to give you a recipe for what to offer; cosider the preceding just food for thought on ways to diversify your thinking.

    • Darryl,

      You bring up excellent points that were also brought up on my Facebook page, and it’s exactly what’s been on my mind, too. Each of my program ideas is unique in that they’re not just my personal touch on the particular training method, but in another big way, too. Each one has one or two big aspects that make them different from what’s already out there. As I said, I didn’t want to reveal too many of the specifics, but you’re right in line with what’s been on my mind. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Les Albjerg

    All sound good.

  3. I would love to get a hold of a Movnat type of workout program,

    • You’re in luck, Jon, because MovNat will be officially releasing both a book and training DVD w/ at least 40 movement skills very soon. I’m pretty sure they’re scheduled for release this Spring. Erwan Le Corre has been envisioning and working on these projects for years, and it’s about time they come to fruition! I’ll be picking them up myself, too. MovNat is a vital component in the future of physical culture.

  4. John thanks for me I find pull ups hard so that’s what I’d like to get a lot better at then overall bodyweight traing routines

    • You are also in luck, Kenneth, because I WILL be releasing a pull-up training program in the future. It’s just a question of when.

  5. Great idea John!
    I have been doing Scott’s follow along programs for years. Last year
    however, my wrists get sore when too much weight is applied. As a
    result I have been modifying TACFIT & adding more wrist compensation
    exercises. Now I have become more disheartened bcs of the sensitive wrists
    and also the TACFIT limitations made for less variety in routines.
    I chose the ‘runners follow along’ because I assume there would be more
    lower body work. I also have sore knees when running and realize
    I need to bulk up the muscles surrounding the knees more than
    anything.
    From the present voting results, it looks like my choice is least likely
    to ‘survive’. I am wondering if that is the case, AND if you have a
    rough draft of this follow along already in the archives, if you might make
    It available for me to try testing ~ beta version? Or if not,
    Sell me a rough draft of the follow along? I would like to find some
    motivation to get back to the CST wave routine with new sets
    of exercises & ideas.
    Thanks again SO VERY MUCH for creating this post John.
    You are top notch.
    Cheers,
    Linda

  6. It dosn’t look like it will be the first one from the results so far, but I hope you do come out with a training program for runners! :-)

    • Linda,

      I do not have the running product in beta-version yet. It’s merely an idea at this stage, but of the four product ideas, it’s the one I’d most LIKE to work on. So, even if it does come in dead last in this survey, it is likely that I will create it at some point. Again, it’s just a matter of finding out what the majority of my readers want and prioritizing product development from there.

      In the mean time, I can give you a short list of tips/ideas for how to strengthen your legs and knees to help with the running. Keep your eyes peeled for a short and sweet post about that – great topic for a Q+A. I’ll try to get it up this week, if possible.

      Best,

      John

  7. I think all 4 sound great and I would be interested in all of them in this order.
    1. Pull ups
    2. Abs Core
    3. Bodyweight
    4. Runners
    I would also like to learn more about the correct way to measure progress in terms of being able to guage improvement rates. I am currently working on pullups hence my placement of your pull up product #1, but I find myself struggling with realy knowing if I am progressing fast enough. What kind of progress should I expect.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Terry. And geez, I should do these surveys more often. You brought up another good topic for a Q+A article regarding what kind of progress to expect in a pull-up or other strength training program. The answer is, of course, that it depends. But I’ll add this topic to my list and will get you at least a general answer to your question ASAP. Good feedback – thanks.

  8. Hi John!

    A training program for runners would be great! There are a lot of training program’s available but I can’t find much for runners.
    So I would be very interested in a good program for runners.

    By the way you’re site is excellent! Thanx a lot for all everything you do!!

    Greetings,

    Peter

    • My pleasure, Peter. And tell me about it! I think runners are severely under-served in that department. The good news is that there’s TONS of room for improvement, though :)

  9. Adrian Brewster

    Hi
    I’m looking for something magic, aren’t we all? Still waiting for Erwan’s Movnat book, over two year late now with the only hints at his system being teaser videos and very expensive training camps. What the world needs is a book (& video) that mashes up the best of barefoot, swim, climb, functional out door, movnat style training with the wilder side of dynamic body weight, kettle bell, club, etc training. “Circuits* that you can do in your backyard with minimal gear and then take to the hills for some real escape from the gym. Don’t know if that makes sense but there could be a ready market for this as the economy goes down the drain and people can no longer afford their gym memberships … sounds like your just the guy to put all that lot together. Just find a catchy name for it and you could earn your second million.

    • HAHA, well, I’d have to earn my FIRST million before that happens, which isn’t exactly a goal on my radar at the moment :)

      But I agree, I think there’s a good niche market in the home training and natural movement (MovNat) communities. I’ve heard from many people that they love MovNat, but that they want to do other things, too (like kettlebells, bodyweight training, etc.). The many modalities can certainly be combined, which is how I train for the most part. I may flesh that idea out a bit more in the future – thanks Adrian!

  10. I would like some to see something lower body related such as progressions leading up to a pistol squat.

    Pete

  11. I’m disapointed that Pullups/Chinups isn’t higher! I’ve been recovering for weeks from tweaking my elbows from doing this very thing. I got the shoulders down. Now need to figure out what I did with my elbows.

    • Don,

      Sorry to hear that. It could be any number of things…

      -improper technique
      -improper programming (too much, too soon)
      -a pre-existing injury that was aggravated from pull-ups
      -etc.

      The pullup/chinup program WILL be released. It’s just a matter of when.

      In the mean time, I would say to back off from any training that aggravates the condition, and work on recovering pain-free range of motion and improving the tissue quality in and around your elbow joints. Prioritize some joint mobility training and some gentle yoga to help heal the area. Also, check in with your pull-up/chin-up technique using this video tutorial:

      http://physicalliving.com/the-right-way-to-do-pullups-and-chinups/

      Make sure you’ve run all that by your doctor, if necessary. MD I am not. But so long as you’ve been cleared to exercise, those suggestions will probably help.

      Best of luck with your recovery!

  12. Thanks so much John. I will keep my eyes peeled.
    Also checked out links you sent to Pete a few posts ago.
    Cheers,
    Linda

  13. I like all 4 of the product ideas. The other type of workout that I enjoy and am always looking for new ideas for types of exercises to do are high-intensity intervals/tabata. HIIT would be easy to incorporate into the bodyweight and running products. But, it could be a stand-alone program as well. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product(s).

  14. John,

    Great ideas all. My feedback is from the perspective of gaps in the market. Bodyweight exercises seem to be the rage, Dragon Door is just releasing a new progressive certification, and there are many others apart from CST and Tacfit such as strong first, shapeshifter, GMB etc. I think a pullup programme again crosses over to bodyweight, and has its limitations. Therefore, like Linda I voted for running. Most runners I know, just run and then do a few pointless stretches. There is also a lot of interest in the trail, obstacle course type races which require more all round strength etc. I think you could create something along the lines of , “I want to prepare to be good at running, jogging, tennis, baseball etc” whatever your normal sport of choice is. I also think if you targetted parents of children who wanted to encourage them to leave the Xbox behind and have a family sport activity together that would be a new angle. Leave fat loss to the other junk email sales pitchers and just focus on sensible advice for people who will recognise it.

    • I hear ya, Stuart. And believe me, part of me wants to just stay away from the weight loss and body composition markets altogether for the reasons you mentioned. I’ve worked in this market for long enough to know its dark side. But at the same time, I think I could also do a lot of good in an industry that is in dire need of it.

      you wrote:
      “Most runners I know, just run and then do a few pointless stretches. There is also a lot of interest in the trail, obstacle course type races which require more all round strength etc.”

      And this is EXACTLY why I had the idea and what I’d be catering to. There’s such a huge need, but the challenge is that most runners don’t realize they need it. So, the running project would take time to develop and gain momentum. And since outlining it, I’ve realized it would require the most work to get up and running, and also to create the product itself. It’s not a quick-start business according to my plan. As I told Linda, it’s the one idea I’m personally most interested in pursuing, which means I probably will at some point – even if it has to wait until after my first product is released.

      I always appreciate the feedback, Stuart – thank you.

  15. John – thrilled to see this! Do them all! I think the survey question is not which one, but which one first? Pullup program may be a specialized product (small “niche” of fitness enthusiasts), but its such a KEY exercise and one that so many struggle with – and mastering this one exercise is like mastering the dead or the squat – huge benefits for anyone – from meat-heads (like me) to moms (and I think women should definitely be included as the pullup is usually more challenging for them). A step by step program that takes men or women from zero pullups to their first, and then onward to the person who has done 25 consecutive and has NEVER been able to do more (jack lalanne wannabes), and even up to mastering the weighted pullup would be great. Would LOVE to hear your kipping vs strict analysis too and whether both might be included at various times… and another idea – pullups for fitness and conditioning and endurance vs pullups for hypertrophy – you’d certainly get attention from people like me by covering that ground. Looking forward to it John! PS. I also think that anything you put out under your excellent philosophy of “health first” fitness will have a lot of appeal… “health” including not just the usual parameters (blood pressure, blood lipids, etc) but also joint health and staying injury free

    • Tom,

      Your feedback is most welcome, especially considering how busy you’ve been these days. THANK YOU!

      The good news is that I WILL be releasing a pull-up training product. That’s the one I’ve been chipping away at over the last several months. It needs a few more finishing touches, and a website, among other things, but IT IS COMING!!!

      And trust me, it’ll be the most comprehensive pull-up training product ever created. I would know since I’ve purchased every book and DVD on the subject to devour, research, and study. If you can find a resource on the subject of pullup training, I’ve got it and I’ve studied it. And I’ve been making my product better with a touch of Siffer-crazy :)

  16. John — Congratulations on the tough assignment you have undertaken! As I’ve indicated, running training and warnings and core exercises (such as the plank, although I hasten to add I’m not aiming for five hours, are main interests in your first quiz.
    By the way, I wonder whether Linda (16/1/13) is a heel striker, as this is a sure-fire technique for knee damage and no degree of muscle development will stop the ground force energy running up the leg bones while the ankle is prevented from acting as a fulcrum. A forefoot landing encourages the reciprocal ground force to transfer to the leg muscle where it is stored to aid the next stride. Recent publicity favouring “barefoot” running has forced even Nike to make available a “five-finger” product (not cheap of course) but they continue producing their fashion footwear with their humorous protection claims. I mention this to indicate the opposition from vested interests to genuine natural and safe running programs that do not require overpriced footwear.

    Another correspondent (Adrian Brewster 16/1/13) mentions barefoot exercise and I hope other exercisers will swell your inbox with their findings.

    Good luck with your project,

    Bob Hunter.

    • Thanks, Bob – good feedback. Although, I haven’t seen a definitive study demonstrating a causal relationship between heel-striking and knee problems, I’ve experienced that myself. Whether it was causation or correlation, I don’t know, but I’m convinced that midfoot/forefoot landings are the way to go most of the time. Of course, that’s just one aspect of my running technique that I had to change. There are several others, and many contributing factors to knee problems in runners.

  17. Eric Mitchell

    I think your ideas are great. I am also biased in that my main training focal point is running. Would it be possible for you to combine programs?
    I was thinking the pull up with the body weight and core with running. Or the core and running could be separate programs.
    Runners are a minority group and being biased as I am feel that this group will lose out in the poll. Would you consider articles addressing the subject of strength and flexibility training if there is not enough interest in a book.
    Thanks for what you do,
    Eric Mitchell

    • I have considered combining programs, Eric – good thinking. And while runners may make up a lower percentage of my audience, I don’t necessarily consider them a minority. It’s a massive market, but like I said in an earlier comment to Stuart, most runners I know don’t realize how much they could benefit from a simple strength training routine. Or, they just aren’t interested. So, there would be some inertia to overcome, and it would take a whole new website, mission, etc. Of the four projects, that’s the biggest one that would take the most time, and it’s also the one I’d most like to do. So, it depends on what my current audience is most interested in, and also about weighing my own priorities. By the looks of the initial results, it will not be the first project I tackle.

      For the time being, I have and will continue to post articles for runners. Here are a few recent ones in case you haven’t seen them yet:

      Supercharge Your Long Distance Runs
      http://physicalliving.com/how-to-supercharge-your-long-distance-runs-with-the-new-anti-comfort-zone-paradigm/

      100 Lessons I’ve Learned From 10 Years of Running
      http://physicalliving.com/100-lessons-ive-learned-from-10-years-of-running/

      The Definitive Guide to Transitioning to Barefoot Running
      http://physicalliving.com/the-definitive-guide-for-transitioning-to-barefoot-running/

      And there are others if you check the “More Info” sections at the end of those articles, and scour through the archives (over 400 published posts now!).

      Thanks for the feedback – much appreciated.

  18. Thanks for this reply to post from Eric John, I will look them up. I fully support the idea to combine core and running ~~ please :))))
    Cheers,
    Linda

  19. I am not big on developing the perfect looking 6 pack as i think it is more useful to focus on core strength building and good looking abs will come along with that. I also think that a program focussing on 0ne area is not healthy and not necessarily improving fitness. I think a program that is more multi dimensional will be more useful- perhaps adding strong upper body , how to improve your push ups, how to use cattle bells and walls, what you can do at home to build core etc.
    I was running marathons and doing triathlons until last year when I hurt my knee.( yanked out my meniscus in my knee ( during a swim doing the whip kick) shortly after running a marathon due to a still very tight IT band- since then I am more interested in how to prevent injuries and how to get back into running after a certain injury. I think that is another area to think about. Greetings and regards, Helmi MC

  20. John, from my pov (an older person who lost a lot of upper body strength almost without realizing it, and who is trying to get it back), I’m most interested in pull ups and bodyweight. Already on the market vis a vis both is the classic ‘Convict Conditioning’ and also Steve Maxwell’s pull up ebook ‘Your First Chin Up’.

    Now, although Convict Conditioning is very good, for the older person who will be gaining strength more slowly, it can be discouraging to hit a plateau quickly as you try to advance while doing what are essentially strength endurance exercises rather than exercises that are true strength. CC also doesn’t like negatives for some reason, which a lot of coaches recommend at a certain stage with pull ups.

    Following CC, I was making slow progress doing inverted rows and also developing some mild elbow tendonitis, so I decided to check out Steve’s book. After changing to an underhand grip my tendonitis went away and I discovered that I really liked doing circuit training with a pyramid of foot assisted pullups (level 3 in CC, and 1st. stage in Steve’s book) combined with squats for partial recovery. I could actually get my heart rate way up at the top of the pyramid on the pull ups, so I more or less switched over to interval training and put achieving full pull ups on hold.

    So, my take is that there’s room for something really good on pull ups with good progressions that work for a wide range of people (not easy!). Also, virtually everybody I see down at the fitness station doing pushups does them wrong!

    • William,

      This is excellent feedback – thank you. I announced this morning that my pull-up product will be the first one to be released. It’ll be fully customizable to your skill and conditioning level, and will also be “health-first” in order to help you prevent injuries from happening in the first place. Exercise is supposed to make us stronger, after all, and pullups done properly with sufficient application of injury prevention techniques should be no exception. Thanks again for your detailed remarks.

  21. Hey John, glad it helped, and I’ll definitely be getting the pull up product. Just doing the high volume routine with easy pull ups has helped a lot. As somebody said, “Pull ups are the upper body squat”.

    And also, thanks for doing the Shane Heins interview because I feel like his Hurricane Mobility program is pretty much getting rid of 100% of the chronic hand pain I’ve had from old injuries. Adding the clubbells was the magic bullet, because I already knew Joint Mobility pretty well (ZHealth). Just traditional mobility didn’t go the whole distance.

    Wouldn’t have found the Shane interview if I hadn’t found your piece on wrist and forearm mobility via google. Looking forward to exploring your site in more detail.

  22. John,
    I am really looking forward to your new pullup product. Any hints as to when it may be released? A customer standing at the door. :-)
    I love your website and have learned so much from your informative posts, and videos. You are a true blessing to the fitness community.
    Terry

    • Thanks, Terry. I don’t have a release date picked out yet, but I’m wrapping up the video editing this week. Then I just have to finish the manual (mostly written), and figure out some of the technical details of selling something online. It’s coming together, and it won’t be long now. And hey, if it does well, then maybe at some point, I can devote myself full-time to this instead of chipping away at it in my spare time. I’ll keep you posted.

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