My students are about to be released into the fitness industry and they need to find the right place to work. Finding a business with a great culture and staff will require a good leader, and good leaders are really hard to find.
I invited Kyle Dobbs to talk to the students on what it takes to be a leader, how to build the right culture, and what to look for in a business that they will one day work for.
Personal trainers need to take a leadership position no matter what their job tittle is. Even if they end up as employees, they still need to be leaders to the clients they train.
If you want to be a leader you never had, want to find the right place to work, or know how to build the right culture in your gym, you’ve gotta listen to this presentation!
What’s shared in this presentation is extremely valuable. Building a successful business (even if it’s just you), will require for you to be able take a leadership role. If you’re struggling with this or you’re wanting to start things out in the right direction, hire a third party and start educating yourself.
If you’re wanting some help, I’ve got great news for you! Kyle offers online consulting/mentoring 🙂
To give a little context on his background and what he has accomplished:
Trained 15,000+ sessions
Been a legitimate six figure earner as a trainer
Managed and developed multiple six figure earners
Managed facilities grossing 300k/month in training revenue
Overseen and conducted company wide education
Created successful models that lead to department and national level growth
Built revenue and corporate strategy models
Connected third party vendors with clients for mutual benefit
To learn more about Kyle, follow him on social media, or contact him through his email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To get the slides and notified when his website is live CLICK HERE
Learning about why and how people have pain was something I put off because of constantly being told it was out of my scope.
Even though TREATING pain is out of my scope, working with people who have it, is definitely not.
I’ve had to learn how to work around it, how to communicate with them, and most importantly, talk them out of maladaptive beliefs they’ve picked up by other trainers, therapist, and practitioners.
Maladaptive beliefs like thinking the amount of pain they’re experiencing equals the amount of damage that is occurring. Believing they have vertebras crushing together or joints out of place after going through a palpatory assessment. And the worst one, thinking their body is so fragile they constantly need a practitioner to put their joints or discs back in place.
The words other professionals use have left my clients and loved ones scared of moving, scared of lifting, and in some instances possibly left with unnecessary pain.
I’m not sure why my client’s neck pain started increasing, but I can’t help but wonder if it had anything to do with her chiro’s comment on how her arthritis in her neck was getting much worse after he touched the area with his hands.
It’s hard to determine how much arthritis contributes to someone’s pain. Someone could be bone on bone and could experience zero symptoms. On top of that, there’s no way of assessing how progressive someone’s arthritis is without imaging. For a chiro to say that to her is just flat out wrong.
I’m not sure why my client’s back pain increased, but I can’t help but wonder if it had anything to do with the exaggerated reaction the neurologist gave her when he saw her MRI.
MRI results don’t always match the symptoms a person may feel. You could have two people with meniscus tears one could have symptoms and one could have zero pain, but both would have the same MRI results.
I’m not sure why my client has kept the same weight for her floor press for the last two years, but I can’t help but wonder if it had anything to do with her physical therapist telling her that shoulder blade protraction could injure her shoulder.
The lack of knowledge on pain within the rehab, medical and fitness industry needs an upgrade because I’m sick of all the maladaptive beliefs being put in people’s heads.
YOUR WORDS MATTER.
Your words could destroy someone’s quality of life, they could send people into unnecessary pain, it could send people to a surgery that was not needed.
Your words could really fuck some people up and I see it happening every single day. Just two weeks ago I heard of a professional assessing one of my student’s neck and they yelled out “HOW ARE YOU EVEN LIVING?!”
Are you serious?!? How are you even living?? GTFOH.
I hope you can start seeing why I’m frustrated. I’m also hoping you’re feeling a little frustrated too because then you’re more likely to do something about it.
How can we start changing how to we talk to people in pain? How can we better serve our post rehab clients and create a world that is less threatening for them?
The answer to all those questions:
You can’t send a client to an MD or PT every time something feels unpleasant for them. You also can’t let your clients feel broken and fragile because of the words other people have used. You need to learn about pain, even if it’s out of your scope to treat it. You need to learn why it happens, how it happens, when it’s time to refer out, and when to calm the person down.
We set up a couple movement consultations with him last year and by watching him talk to my clients out of their maladaptive beliefs made me realize there is a HUGE need for his information to be known. Not just in the fitness industry, EVERY industry. Doctors, massage therapist, chiros, trainers, yoga instructors.…everyone is guilty. Including myself. Young Lucy totally told clients that they had an anterior pelvic tilt that would cause back pain and neck pain.
So if you’re frustrated seeing your clients suffer, you want to learn about pain, and you want to better serve these people, start following Zac.
He’s got a online presentation on Pain and it’s totally free!
Here’s a warning though, once you start learning all this you’re going to start getting frustrated and reach out to me to say “OMG! Soo many people are being misguided and mismanaged! All these professionals are putting ideas into my clients heads!”
Or maybe not. Maybe I’m just an angry person.
To sum everything up:
YOUR WORDS MATTER.
If you work with people, It IS your business to learn about pain.
The number one question I get is “How do I get clients to buy into the breathing?”
Breathing is like the veggies on the plate that kids don’t want to eat. It’s not sexy, it seems weird, no one else is doing it, and it’s a really hard sale.
Fortunately, there is a way to make breathing activities look more like a juicy rib-eye vs the overcooked soggy asparagus no one wants. What if you could produce results on the spot and get immediate buy in? And you could find the right words to make warm-up activities meaningful for each client depending on what their goals are.
At Enhancing Life, within 20-30 minutes into a consult a new/potential client usually mentions how they’ve never experienced anything like this before. They’re usually WOWed after 3-6 warm-up activities, before we even get to any training. If you can WOW someone with a warm-up, just imagine how they’ll feel when they start training?
A Lazy Bear done correctly can improve a client’s movement quality right on the spot, it can get rid of tightness and limitations, and it can help gain them access to ranges of motions that are required to lift without compensating. When it’s done right, clients feel like they’re working hard, muscles burn, it gives them a rush, it challenges them in the right place, and most importantly, it gets them to buy into the this whole “breathing thing”.
A Lazy Bear done incorrectly will possibly produce little to no results, a client will feel like they’re wasting their time, they wont be challenged, and all the sudden, the whole “breathing thing” seems silly and unnecessary.
New clients are very disconnected to their own bodies, they don’t take cues well, and they struggle following simple instructions. When you attend courses you practice coaching these activities on other trainers, and guess who can take cues really well? Trainers. Guess who don’t? Your clients.
One of my biggest tools I use to get someone to buy into the boring breathing exercises is my ability to coach them through it. If coached correctly, I need zero buy in, because they immediately feel the results. They feel how their knee hurts less when they squat, they feel how their core is more active while they lift, or they feel the huge difference when they get up and start walking around.
If you produce results and you use the right words, you don’t need to worry about the selling/buying in part.
So if you struggle with the coaching part, or you struggle with the talking part, I’ve got some great news for you 🙂
If you subscribe to my newsletter, you will receive a password to give you access to OVER AN HOUR worth of videos of me teaching the students of The Lexington Healing Arts. I go through the most common breathing/warm-up activities, I show you how I coach them, how I prevent clients from compensating, variations that I use, what words I use while taking them through it, and much more!
AND you will also get a 45 minute video on how you can make breathing exercises and the assessment meaningful for each client depending on their goals. Are they post rehab? or do they just want to get strong and lift heavy weights? You can run them through the same assessment and same breathing protocol but the words you’ll use are different. With this video you’ll learn a few different ways you can increase buy in by saying the right things 🙂
If you want to get immediate buy in and WOW all clients just by running them through a simple warm-up, click on the link below!
I want to connect you to information you can trust, and I don’t want to be limited by social media. From now on, it’ll be called “Connection of the Week”. I’ll connect you to people, books, products, documentaries, social media post…the list can on and on 😊
I have a good one for today!
I want to tell you about my friend, Diana Rodgers.
Corrupt corporations, big pharma, and factory farming have left my clients confused and misguided. They’re scared to eat fat and meat, they don’t know the impact of where their food comes from, and they’re left with little to no results.
Diana’s work has been a lifesaver because she is not afraid to speak up to these misleading ideas.
“A Vegan diet will save all the animals”
Lie. There’s blood on all of our plates. Diana wrote an article on that:
I could keep going but I think that gives you an idea of what her work entails.
Here’s the best part ->
She is making her own documentary!
Kale vs. Cow
This is where we all must help spread the word. Start educating your clients because THIS IS IMPORTANT.
This documentary is going up against factory farming and promoting sustainably raised cattle. It’s busting all the myth and misconceptions that the population is fed about consuming and raising animals. This is where meat eaters and non-meat eaters need to stop fighting each other and help promote sustainability and end factory farming, the true enemy.
“If your client’s training session looks like a rehab session, it’s no longer training” – the internet
Let’s give that quote a little bit of context.
The goal of training is to overstress the client to drive an adaptive change. With rehab, you are trying to apply the minimal effective dose that creates an adaptive change yet protects the client from digging a deeper hole.
If all your sessions are too rehabby, then your clients will have a tough time reaching their fitness goals. However, there are certain types of situations where a rehab-looking training session is warranted.
To learn when it’s okay to breathe for an hour, keep reading 😊
Calling a Training Audible
Have you ever scratched a client’s program and let them get after it on a stress-relieving 30/30 track?
To hell with a fancy warm-up that requires a lot of thinking, frontal plane shifting, and rotating. Just lift heavy shit and not think. Blow off some steam.
But is this strategy really stress reliving for someone who has a Hashimoto’s or colitis flare up? Or someone who just tweaked his or her knee? Or a person who works night shift and has slept only 6 hours the last three nights?
When these clients need to relieve stress, getting after it might dig the whole deeper for them.
You try cluster setting back squats when you’re bleeding out of your ass throughout the night. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google what a colitis flare up entails.
While loading the system is important, it can have negative consequences on these types of clients. For overstressed clients, we must move away from system loading, and move toward restoring people. Provide an environment that promotes healing. An environment that adapts to the stressors at play.
In a perfect world, I would love for weightlifting to be my client’s largest stressor. But in the real world, I’m up against failed rehab, mismanaged autoimmune diseases, and a society that doesn’t respect sleep.
These are the clients who cancel their sessions when shit hits the fan, unless you’re a trainer who can give them a restorative session. Something that will make them feel better and eliminate cancelling as an option.
The gratitude that these people show after an hour of low level activities never gets old. It’s something they’ve never received before. Their previous trainers didn’t know how to bring the intensity down when life forced that as the only option.
So what kind of clients am I talking about?
Clients with an Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmunity is on the rise, and most trainers don’t even know what it is or what a “flare up” means. Healthy people rarely develop Autoimmunity. Though we don’t know exactly why autoimmune diseases occur, they are often associated with a stressed-out body, compromised immune system, and will likely worsen with too intense exercise.
A lot of people with an autoimmune disease deal with chronic fatigue. I never knew what that felt like until last year. I dealt with intense fatigue, talking for longer than a minute wore me out. Trust me, the last thing I wanted to do was train hard.
Clients with Acute Pain
In acute pain, everything becomes sensitive, even the lightest touch. In these situations, a client might put their membership on hold while they wait to heal. You think intense exercise or heavy lifting is on docket?
When in pain, the brain perceives an actual or potential threat to a body tissue. It’s up to you to find activities that are not perceived as a threat.
If you’re a trainer, chances are that exercise is probably a big part of your life and you love it. Unfortunately, many of your clients will not share your passion. Not everyone has a type A personality.
Robert Sapolsky in his book, Why Zebras don’t Get Ulcers, mentions how exercise can be great to relieve stress and boost mood, unless, you don’t enjoy it and see it at a chore/pain.
I work with a lot of people that have never been a huge fan of exercise. So when life gets super stressful, I take them through low level activities and hop them on a bike for some cardiac output.
Clients with outside stressors they can’t control
This one is important!
The last three clients are people you may not choose to work with, and that’s OK. Everyone has their target market. However, we all have clients where life gets in the way.
The client who made me think of writing this article texted me last week, letting me know he had a couple nights of horrible sleep. He was up because of his son waking him up multiple times per night.
Can you imagine? Caring for a son who can’t sleep while you are running on empty, struggling with recurring illness (another issue this client has, then getting up and going through your own stressful life? Do you think maxing out on the bench would be high priority?
I can kick my cat out of my room when he interrupts my sleep. Good luck doing that with a family, busy schedule, and work.
A trainer must be able to step back and look at client’s entire life situation, and make the decision of what session this person needs.
Do they need to go all out? Or do they need to chill the fuck out?
Training should be sustainable. You’re not going to prevent someone from reaching their fitness goals by backing things up on the training floor once a month or so.
In fact, you’ll be providing a better service that takes a multifactorial approach. Training from this lens will allow you to determine when a client can be stressed to maximize results, and when they need a break before going to the next level.
Why do you think people go to things like restorative yoga or meditation? If you could offer restorative sessions along with training, you’ll diversify your skillset in a manner that can only help your training business grow.
So what kind of exercises can you do with these clients? Because breathing exercises doesn’t mean you have to stay on the ground. It just means that you’re not loading the movement as much, you’re really concentrating, and you’re increasing movement variability.
Here are a few examples:
Give these a try with the clients that don’t need added stress in their life. Which will allow them to get back to training at a faster pace.
What if the answer to your client’s problems is good quality sleep?
You’ll never know until they make it priority and stop downplaying it’s role it has on their health, performance and well-being.
Sleep is one of the most overlooked aspects in people’s lives that could be preventing them from reaching their goals, freeing themselves from disease, or living a life worth living.
I think one of the reasons people dismiss sleep is because the lack of education. Not understanding the detrimental health consequences of getting a poor night of sleep every single night.
For this week’s social I picked this extremely well written post on sleep by Justin Moore.
If your clients were aware of this information, they might start thinking about making it a priority, and their life could potentially change.
Justin’s post was too long to take a picture of so here it is:
“It’s really interesting to have a young puppy and watch his day to day behavior, especially when it comes to sleep.
He sleeps when he wants, where he wants, and for however long he wants.
He’ll sleep for 6-8 hours a night and then nap multiple times a day, sometimes for short spurts, sometimes for hours on end.
He tends to nap the most after walks or after social experiences playing with other dogs or meeting new people. This is certainly not by accident as sleep is the time when we process, consolidate, and store new memories and experiences, something that a young organism has to do quite frequently.
The fact that he naps so much also doesn’t have anything to do with him having nothing better to do. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep sitting up or pass out even when someone is home and offering to take him outside, which is probably his favorite thing ever.
To put it simply: it is clear that left to their own devices, animals will sleep quite often and very regularly, throwing a serious wrench into the notion that we’re only meant to sleep at night, or even more ridiculous, that we don’t need much sleep to function.
Watching his behavior, it becomes even more clear to me what an incredible mismatch humans have created between our physiology and our behavior.
Drago never fights sleep. He doesn’t seem bothered by the idea that he might be missing out on something while he sleeps. I’ve never seen him take stimulants to stay up later, pull all nighters for no apparent reason, or tell any of his friends that they’re lazy for going to sleep earlier or taking naps in the middle of the afternoon.
Nature has never faced the problem that humans have created: we have a large and highly-influential cortex that has allowed us to override our evolutionarily-selected need for sleep, and even convince society as a whole that sleep is a waste of our lives and a behavior demonstrated by those that are too lazy to work.
In fairness, Drago is not going to be writing symphonies, sending other dogs into space, running billion dollar enterprises, or solving the mystery of life itself.
But, we can probably take a lesson from him, and recognize that across the animal kingdom sleep has survived millions of years of evolutionary selection and is a critical pillar of health, wellness, and performance. We need to stop treating it as an afterthought, a nuisance, and a sign of laziness.
We need to appreciate that sleep impacts:
1. Hormones like testosterone and growth hormone — people have looked for performance enhancing supplements to boost levels of these hormones forever. Instead of trying to boost these hormones with supplementation, go to sleep, it’s a critical period for both of them.
In fact, men who sleep 5-6 hours per night have testosterone levels of someone 10 years older than them (Matthew Walker).
2. Muscle growth & tissue repair — sleep is the most potent recovery tool there is for athletes and weekend warriors who want to get bigger and stronger alike.
3. Appetite & the types of foods you decide to eat — deprivation leads to greater consumption of sugary, carb-rich foods. Trying to lose weight and adopt good eating habits? Without sleep you’re screwed.
4. Blood-glucose regulation — healthy people show pre-diabetic blood-glucose regulation after 5 nights of restricted sleep.
5. Immune function — 70% reduction in immune cells that specialize in killing cancer cells after ONE NIGHT of sleep loss.
6. Stress & inflammation – want to up-regulate your stress response and live in a chronically sympathetic and inflamed state? Deprive yourself of sleep. Bad, bad news.
7. Learning, memory, skill retention, & cognition — research shows if you don’t sleep after learning new information or a new skill, you will show no improvement in the skill or retention of the information over baseline when retested. Without sleep, your brain cannot put new memories away for long-term storage.
8. Creativity & Problem Solving — research has also shown that a night of sleep allows people to gain insight into the most efficient way to solve a problem that they were never told was there. It seems that during sleep the brain is actively going through information, searching for patterns, and analyzing it from new perspectives. Those who are sleep deprived are unable to detect the trick to solving the problem that those who were allowed to sleep figured out.
9. Time to exhaustion — your conditioning may get up to 30% worse after one night of restricted sleep.
10. Attention & responsiveness — reflexes and reaction times very quickly become that of someone who is intoxicated in the face of sleep deprivation or sleep restriction.
11. Brain health — sleep is when your brain clears out toxins that are implicated in devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s. In fact, long-term sleep restriction is beginning to be seen as a major risk factor for developing this increasingly common disease.
The list goes on and on. Lets change the paradigm and look at sleep as the vital part of life that it is. Your athletic performance, fitness and body composition goals, ability to produce quality work, capacity to learn and make new memories, and long-term health are all dependent on the quantity AND quality of your sleep.”
For more awesome info, follow Justin on social media!
Ryan Patrick owns a successful gym, coaches clients throughout the day, is a competitive powerlifter, and has FIVE kids!
In a year he went from sitting a wheelchair with a broken tibia to setting PR’s in his Squat and Deadlift.
You could say the man knows what to do to stay in the game.
Because that’s what it’s all about, right? What will it take for you to be able to do this for a really long time?
Even if you don’t want to compete. If you or your clients want to be strong AF and want to get serious about lifting, how are you going to make that happen? How are you going to make sure that the balance between Health and Performance doesn’t shoot so far into the performance side that it actually takes you or your client out the game.
Putting an emphasis on Aerobic Fitness can sometimes be a low priority in a powerlifters programming.
But if you’re serious about powerlifting, you might want to let it wiggle itself into your or your client’s programming.
In the following video, Ryan explains why it’s important and he also shows you how you can start building an aerobic base 🙂
And not only did Ryan film this video, he also has shared multiple FREE programs on his facebook and instagram!
He is really hooking you all up with all that content, go follow him to get all the explanations and videos that come along with the free templates 🙂
For this week’s post, it’s not technicality a social media post but it definitely has been said all over social media so that counts, right? I really wanted to highlight someone you should be following if you’re a personal trainer.
I mostly highlight coaches you should follow because they’ll make you better at coaching. Having all the knowledge and the skills that it takes to be great on the training floor is crucial. There’s no way around it, if you want to successful, you have to be a good coach, you have to do a good job.
But how will you let everyone know about it? How are the right people going to find you? And how are you going to set yourself apart?!
That’s what trainers suck at the most. They suck at marketing. They suck at selling. They suck at communicating and making their training meaningful for each client.
Think of all the missed opportunities because you were not good at back-end of things, or your ability to communicate with the right people.
That’s where Jon Goodman’s work comes in, because being a good coach is not enough to make it in this industry.
So for today’s social post, I wanted to highlight Jon’s two golden rules:
Get great results, and let everyone know about it.
Easier said than done.
Unless you find someone like Jon who shows you what to do.
I was introduced to his work during my first year as a trainer. My old employer, Molly Galbraith told me it’d be a good idea to follow his work, so I did 🙂
And I can honestly say if it weren’t for what I’ve learned through his work, you wouldn’t be reading my blog, I wouldn’t have had the privilege to continuously speak about what I’m passionate about, and I would probably be struggling right now as a personal trainer.
I believe in his work so much that I created a 48 hour class that is mostly based on his book, Ignite the Fire. I shove it down all my students throats because I want them to be successful. I want them to be introduced to content and his network right in the beginning from their career. I see it as a gift 😉
(In their head they’re probably like “OKAY, Lucy. We get it. we’ll follow people like Jon Goodman, Ben House, Pat Davidson, and Robb Wolf. We promise. You can stop telling us how awesome they are”)
So if you’re not following his work, what’re you waiting for?
Over the last year, my clients started progressing through their programming and entering the training floor at much faster rate than they were before. This change occurred because I’ve focused on coaching the basics savagely well.
I’ve learned how to coach people out of compensating during basic breathing exercises, which has resulted in better outcomes.
From a training standpoint, you want to see these exercises as activities that give your client’s access to motions that are needed on the training floor. Like hinging through the hips vs low back, squatting without the heels coming off the ground, or rowing without the shoulders gliding forward.
If you go the extra mile and get detailed with your coaching, I promise you, your clients will have substantially more positive outcomes.
Let’s talk about the three most common mistakes and then let me show you how to coach people out of them.
Exhaling too Hard
My goal with most breathing exercises is get the air out of the lungs. Because if air goes out, I know I got the ribs to move. If you’re exhaling too hard, you will contract muscles like external obliques, you’ll block the diaphragm from fully ascending (state of exhalation), and you’ll trap air in at the lower portion of the lungs.
Never underestimate the power of getting all the air out 🙂
I’ve been speaking about not belly breathing for a couple of years now and I’ve never had anyone at the end of the presentation disagree with me. Mostly because once people are presented with information, belly breathing no longer makes sense to them.
I always start out with these questions:
Do you agree that breathing should be 360? That breathing should expands the lungs and rib cage 360 degrees?
and 100% of the time people will answer “Yes” to those questions, which I follow up with.
“Okay so we’re on the same page. Belly breathing doesn’t allow that to happen.” and I create a visual with my body to show them how belly breathing lacks the circumferential 360 degrees of expansion.
and usually that’s all it takes for people to leave belly breathing behind.
What I want:
What I don’t want:
During respiration, the ribcage and abdomen should expand a complete 360 degrees to achieve adequate intra-abdominal pressure. Belly breathing lacks this circumferential expansion which actually reduces intra-abdominal pressure.
If you want to coach someone how to breathing correctly, you must appreciate the rib cage and it’s resting state.
When you assess the rib cage, you can make some assumptions on what resting position their diaphragm is in. From the thousands of ribcages I’ve seen, people don’t struggle breathing in with their diaphragm, they actually struggle breathing out, letting their diaphragm to fully relax.
With most people, the diaphragm sits flat, in a position of inhalation.
Trying to achieve diaphragmatic breathing by cuing a belly breath would be like trying to open a an umbrella that is already open. An umbrella must be closed before in can be opened. In order for you to take a breath IN with your diaphragm, it needs to come from a state of being OUT (exhalation).
So stop coaching “billow the belly out”, “belly breathe”, or “let that hand on the belly expand” and start getting your clients breathing 360.
This is one a big one. I see people online doing “breathing exercises” but they’re letting their clients crunch too much.
When someone is in quadruped, I want this:
When you crunch and let your clients get all hunchy, you’re not achieving rib cage retraction, you’re getting sternal depression, and you’re overusing rectus.
If you’re chasing movement variability, you might not get the changes you want if you’re clients are rounding over.
With all that said, getting someone in a perfect quadruped position is a lot harder than most people think. If I have a pain-free client that just wants to lift, I will sometimes let that go and slowly coach them out of it every time they come in to train.
Detailed coaching doesn’t mean perfect, it means always improving 🙂
But if I have a post-rehab client that I’m trying to improve movement variability with, and I can’t get them doing this correctly, I will do other activities that will help them achieve what they want.
In the following video I’ll take you through how to coach clients out of three mistakes I just talked about andthree activities to try with those people you just can’t get them into quadruped.
Something to think about:
Like I said in the video, maybe your clients are not ready for quadruped. Try the activities I went over to set them up for success.
But you also might want to consider that quadruped and reaching forward might not be a good position for them. They might have a wide infrasternal angle (ISA). They might need a forceful exhale vs a soft prolonged sigh. They might need arms pulling over head vs reaching in front of them.
I don’t see many wide ISA people, but I do see them. To learn what to do with these people, check out my article on it. If you’re checking this and you’re thinking a lot of people are wide, you’re probably not checking right at the xyphoid process. Make sure you’re on-top of it, not below it. I messed up a lot when I first started checking it.