August 6, 2018

Have you ever struggled to really connect with a client?

Chances are, even if you are known for being ‘the last 5lb’ guy, the one that really helps clients get to their goal weight, that’s only part of why they are training with you?

We are all emotional beings and our motivation for action is often complex.  There are the surface goals which we are great at recognizing and realizing for clients, but how good are you at helping them realize their unspoken goals? Truly great trainers can really bring out the best in people because they help them find the best parts of themselves. It’s helping them become better inside and outside. If you can do that, you have loyal clients for life that will sing your praises all day long.

My clients’ wives and husbands often joke that I’m cheaper than a therapist.  I’m not saying that we sit down and talk about our feelings sort of thing, that’s not it at all. Type A’s just don’t do that.  It’s just that as trainers we see such a broad slice of the human condition across different populations which give us a chance to gain some unique insight. Good trainers are able to apply that knowledge to get results. Every client is unique, so what motivates one person will invariably be different in another.

….as trainers we see such a broad slice of the human condition across different populations which give us a chance to gain some unique insight.

If you do everything by the training book, every exercise, every diet tip, but you can’t listen or aren’t there for them emotionally, or able to steer the client into positive action, you likely aren’t going to get the results or keep them around for very long.

We are all more than what appears on the surface.

If a goal is image-based they could be wrestling with some insecurities, searching for some value within themselves that they have attached to their outside image.

Sure that 6 pack is a great goal, but what is that saying about them? I need to feel validated, I want to be appreciated for my hard work, I want to find love, all those things they unconsciously attach to reaching that goal.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you can support the verbalized goals, and the unconscious needs you will both win.



Just a couple of examples so you get what I’m talking about, but it’s way more complex in real life.

If you have a client that is having problems with weight and is constantly beating themselves up about their lack of will power or always focusing on how fat they are, pointing out they they are making poor choices and not losing weight isn’t going to help them. If you can steer them to looking to what is good in their life, and celebrate the good choices you are are helping them change their thought patterns. Positive reinforcement begets more positive behavior. Talk about what they enjoy, find out what makes them light up and move them towards more of that, and away from negative self-talk. If it’s a pattern they repeat over and over, asking how they think they can solve those problems can switch their thoughts form a
poor-me mind set and over to problem solving mode.

If you have a client that is always late, unprepared, under slept, under fed, find out more about their lives. Is it stress? Are they overworked, how can you offer some ways to simplify their life. Are they depressed? How can you make their day just a little brighter, maybe they just need a little genuine exchange?  Or to be noticed. If they get a haircut, let them know you noticed, and how sharp it looks.   I’m not saying be fake or insincere, just be part of their conversation, show them you care. If you aren’t comfortable with the complements, tell them a joke or a funny story to shift the mood.

If they show up angry, you don’t need to know why, just let them know you noticed they are struggling today, so let’s work on that with some exercise that lets them vent off a little aggression. I have a couple of exercises in my repertoire I affectionately call anger management.

We don’t really want to unpack any one’s bags but our own, we aren’t qualified to deal with that, and frankly we don’t really want to take that on. This is all unspoken action. But if you pay attention to body language, like how they walk into the gym, or how they stand; and listen to what they say and how they say it. You’ll find out more than you need to know to help inspire and motivate them to feel stronger and more able.  Even if it’s only 6o minutes at a time.
In the process just might just learn a little bit about yourself!





August 5, 2018

Here are some tips to get the most out of any workout session.

Congratulations you’ve booked a trainer and are ready to reach those goals you’ve had rattling around in your mind for a while.  Yes, it’s an investment of both your time and money but it’s worth it. To maximize your experience here’s a couple of tips to consider.

You need to plan ahead… The day before your session- Yes, you need to think about your workout at least 24 hours before you step into the gym. But it’s really simple… Make good choices that support your health and fitness goals.

It’s not gonna be pretty, and one of us might cry.

If you are doing a full on Lindsay Lohan the night before, just do us a favor and drunk text us and cancel. Better yet, do it before you call you dealer. You know it’s gonna be a shit show anyways.






Get to bed at a decent time, and make sure the next day is mapped out so that you have time to do everything you need to do to get to the gym in time to park, change, warm up and be ready for fitness. I call this realistic expectation of time.. How long will it likely take to do all that?  If you workout is at 2pm that does not mean hit the gym door at 2pm, it means ready to lift on the floor at 2pm.

Get hydrated- make sure you are drinking fluids all day so that your body is hydrated and ready for action, we need enough water for metabolic process and to keep things lubricated.

Before you leave the house, check to make sure you have your workout gear. Did it go thru the laundry since your last workout?  Nobody likes a pig-pen, and I can’t hold my breath for a full hour.


Make sure you have the right footwear!

Working out in your poka-dot dress socks and oxfords with gym shorts looks pretty tragic, and  it’s actually unsafe to wear those and do anything useful workout wise. If you do forget them, you are better off going barefoot when you are on your feet. P.S. – most gyms have a policy against that so don’t be strutting your funky feet everywhere or they will shut you down.


Water bottle? I know you all want an excuse to walk to the water fountain for a break but if you bring your own water bottle you don’t have to drink all that chlorinated tap water and mess up your gut flora.

Something people don’t usually consider, but where are you mentally?

Are you emotionally available to work out?  It’s not the worst sin, but I see it every day. People stuck in their work mind while trying to work out. Try and do some journaling, or meditate, masturbate, or whatever it takes to create space so that you can take this time for yourself and be focused and confident.

Training when bloated is nothing to smile about, and it’s tough on your gut.

Meal planning- 
If you are hitting the all you can eat buffet with the guys at the office before your workout, it’s not gonna be pretty. Even worse showing up already low blood sugared and hangry. If you aren’t properly fueled, you won’t be physically or emotionally ready to workout.  To get the most from your workout make sure you hit your regular meals, keep it light, no burger and fries, sensible healthy stuff.  Have a snack 45 minutes before the workout, something light like an apple and almond butter, some hummus and veggies, couple of eggs and piece of toast. Whatever will give you a little energy, but isn’t going to leave you all Macy day parade feeling.


If you aren’t properly fueled, you won’t be physically or emotionally ready to workout.


After the workout-

So depending on your goals it’s still going to be food.  If you are looking to lose weight,  wait an hour or so if you can, and then have a sensible meal, or a protein shake. This will allow your high metabolism from your killer workout to keep burning fat a little longer.

If you are looking to put on a little muscle eat within an hour while your muscles are hungry. Skip the salad and have about 30g of protein with 60 grams of simpler carbohydrate. That’s right simple- we want a little insulin boost to open up all those cells to get those amino acids from the protein into those muscles to build and repair. Chicken and white rice or potato- or a protein shake made with juice instead of water or milk.  If you opted for the shake feel free to eat again in another 60-90 minutes.

If you did a super heavy workout, you can add in some glutamine at some point to help speed up the repair.


Avoid alcohol – we want to be hydrated, we need to sleep, and we need to repair.  And guys, we don’t want to knock our testosterone back to our pre-teen levels either. Don’t believe me? Do the research it can keep it down for days after a good night out.  But if you don’t believe me,  go out drinking after a leg workout you’ll find out just how much worse your recovery is.


Sleep again!

Get to bed sleepy head.

Get to bed early so that all that hard work can actually have an effect.  When we sleep that’s when the rest and repair happens, and we release growth hormone in about 90 minute cycles. So if you want to build muscle, you need to sleep!  If you are up playing Fortnight till 2am after a great session;  you might think you have leveled up, but you just wasted your workout.









So it’s really simple- plan ahead, sleep, eat, drink, and you will get the most out of your workouts, reach your goals, inspire your friends, (and it’ll make us trainers look like rock stars!)



August 5, 2018

Feeling Stuck?


What is holding you back from achieving your fitness goals?

Goals are a funny thing, we can say we want something, but if you aren’t actually taking any steps to get there, they are just dreams and not really goals.  Dreams are something that we think we want, but don’t do anything to change or move forward towards them. The universe isn’t going to reach down and bestow upon you any divine gifts if you aren’t moving towards achieving them.

Yes I tried the blond thing.. no it wasn’t more fun.

Look I’m not a psychologist, but over the almost 20 years and thousands and thousands of hours working with hundreds of clients I’ve learned a lot about the human condition. I know people, specifically when it comes to how we treat ourselves when it comes to our health. I started as a kind of shy husky kid that just wanted to be accepted.  I knew what I thought I wanted and did almost everything in my power to get there, and once I achieved that lofty goal and ended up in workout and fitness magazines, that very point when I thought I would have it all figured out, I didn’t. I still felt like that same kid, not appreciated or accepted for me. I look back now that I’m (…ahem) a ‘little’ older at all those photos of myself and think wow I looked really amazing, but remember how insecure and unhappy I was back then. It took me some time and some real growth moments to realize personal acceptance and appreciation for yourself at every stage of your journey is the key to being happier and gives you the strength and courage to keep making good choices for yourself.

People often get stuck in a fear paralysis- fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or even fear of success. I don’t know how to get there, so it’s safer just not to try. That’s a victim mindset, and guess what, that’s exactly what you will attract. People often feel held hostage in their own bodies because they understand so little about them. They can be book smart, but not understand that what they put into their bodies or choices they make have lead them to the exact spot they are currently stuck in. I get it, it’s hard to be honest with yourself and look around and wonder how did I get here? Why did I do that? Why are my perceived goals not aligned with my actions?

So let’s start with our why before we look at our how… Why do you want to make a change?  Not because of anybody else… You! What matters to you? Is it because you finally want to feel better, are you scared of dying? Is fitting into those jeans really the top goal, or do you just want to be loved and accepted. If that’s the case, just take a moment and know that you are enough for you or anyone else right now. I don’t want to gloss over that, but if you can get there mentally, you are ready to make a change from a place of love and acceptance for yourself.  You can’t ask others to do something you are not willing to do for yourself.

“Why are my perceived goals not aligned with my actions?”

So, now that you are considering some changes in your fitness, Congratulations!


You are at least aware something in your life isn’t working for you anymore. If it’s coming from a place of guilt, who’s ideals is that based on? Who is saying you have to look a certain way or be a certain thing? Often we take on what others have projected upon us, it feels like a burden because it’s not ours. We didn’t decide that we needed to be that, someone else has decided for us and we just accepted it.

Ok, so now we know why… now we need to figure out how.


You have to walk before you run… so literally if your goal is run a half marathon, but you can’t even walk the distance, it’s time to get walking. See baby steps, this stuff is easy right?

Instead of this huge looming end goal which can seem impossible, work backwards and figure out all the little steps along the way. You want to lose weight, start exercising little, and making healthier choices. Talk to others that have done well and figure out what worked for them. When you have done what you are capable of doing on your own, hire a trainer learn what they know, then find another one and learn what they know.

Educate yourself on nutrition, figure out what works best when it comes to food. Do you have food allergies, or sensitivities? Maybe seek out some expert help like a naturopath, or other Dr.?

Where is your awareness? Were you focus is where you end up. If all you can think about is this fat belly or this skinny arm guess what?  That’s what you will have. If you focus on what’s good instead of what’s bad, you will start to notice more of what’s good, and trust me on this, the universe will put more good in front of you. Obsessing about love handles is like walking backwards and wondering why you aren’t getting ahead. Work on your mindfulness, start listening to inspiring podcasts, meditate, do what you need to do to maintain a positive state of mind.

Maybe you need to leave yourself reminders to keep you on track, put a chart on the fridge of what your goals are, healthy meal choices, workout ideas- join some classes and find some like-minded friends – do some fun shit, and reward yourself now and then for a job well done. Instead of having a food based treat, how about something more supportive of your goals. The buzz you get after a good massage is way better than the buzz after chocolate cake.

So look, change is hard, especially when it comes to ourselves. It’s not rocket science, (ok, maybe a little rocket stuff…. “One small step…”) Most of it comes from knowing yourself which is way harder than making it to the gym on the regular. If you take the time you just might find out you are pretty awesome. How cool is that?