Interview: Ish Cheyne

Insights Interview: Forecasting, Silver Linings, and Sales Techniques

Hi Ish, I want to thank you for your time and effort in making the interview happen because I know how much you hate writing.  You have been a driving force being multiple companies.  Firstly, you have been the superpower behind much of cooperate giant, LES MILLS, personal training business seminars and education.  Secondly, you run which is pumping out some amazing podcasts and client information.  So as usual, tell me how old you were when you started becoming interested in the field and also what your background is.

I got in to the fitness industry when I was 18 completely by accident. I am a qualified Chef and I had an address given to me for a job interview but when I turned up at the address it was a Gym not a Restaurant. So I said I really want a job and the guy said can you sell gym memberships, I said sure (not that I had any idea if I could or not, I had never even been to a gym before) so I started the next day, fell in love with the fitness industry and the rest just kind of happened

Many people often get, “tall poppy” syndrome (where the person tries to cut another down for their own gain).  I am sure this happens to you at some time or another but what do you do to keep your mind focused away from this sort of stuff?

I spend as much time as I can adding value to people’s lives by building positive relationships. Help someone get what they want and you then get what you want. Don’t worry about the dickheads.

How do you, Ish Cheyne, motivate the unmotivated?  How do you make someone who is in denial about their health to come to terms with themselves?

I just tell it like it is, to many people have a cross your fingers attitude to health and fitness and say things like, I hope I don’t get cancer, I hope I don’t get fat, I hope I don’t get sick. It’s better that they can prevent it before it happens rather than living in reaction. I just give them the options then if they’re smart they make a good decision

Thats a straight forward attitude.  Its true that prevention is always better treating the problem after the fact.  Speaking of motivation, you are very skilled in marketing and sales, how do you handle hesitations (regarding a sale)?

The best line I ever learnt was, “so aside from….blar blar…is this something you would like to do” So if the person says it’s too expensive, you just say. Ok so aside from price is Personal Training something you would like to do” if they say yes, then say “well you know yourself best how much could you put towards it per week” then work it all out from there. If they say No, then they don’t see the value in what you are offering…either that or they think you’re a dick and it’s pretty much over

Okay so we know that if you are a d**k then motivation is not an option.  However, who is the one person who has motivated you the most in your field?

It’s not just one person; it’s Les Mills as a company. They have changed my life. The businesses innovation and the people that work in the company are amazing

You have been in the game for a bit now, where do you see the gym and fitness industry heading?  What will be the next big step for the fitness industry?

Small group training and membership options for people who don’t want to join or commit to a contract

If you could train anyone who would it be?

Chuck Norris!!

What’s your biggest advice for a new student or trainer?

Don’t be a dick!


Ish Cheyne




For those that like it long: Ish Cheyne is one of New Zealand’s top personal trainers (2008 South Island Personal Trainer of the year) and with over 15 years of experience working across the Health and Fitness industry, Ish is internationally recognized as a leader, educator, and visionary.

As a leading presenter, Ish is highly regarded for his dynamic, motivational and informative seminars. Through radio interviews, television shows and international speaking engagements, Ish’s expertise and knowledge have become well-known and highly valued. Ish is the National Facilitator for Les Mills and teaches all aspects of exercise prescription, business, marketing, sales and customer service.

Les Mills International has contracted Ish to assist in the area of training development. He is one of the best facilitators in the world and has written and delivered education DVDs now seen by over 80,000 instructors in over 70 countries.

Through mediums such as television, radio, speaking events, pod casts, blogs and e-books, Ish is a key solution provider in the areas of personal training, fitness, sales and staff performance. Blar Blar Blar….. (Told you it was long)


About doctoranthony
As a spinal rehabilitation specialist with over 7 years clinical experience in the areas of - Spinal Manipulative Therapy, Active & Passive Spinal Rehabilitation, Functional Movement and Orthopedic Assessment, Strength and Conditioning Coaching, Fitness Programming, Business Development, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Consultancy - you can feel safe knowing that I understand the worry and concern surrounding spinal pain. This is why self-efficacy lies at the heart of my practice. For more info:

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