Social Media Post of The Week

This week goes to a man that every single fitness entrepreneur needs to follow.

Pat Rigsby. 

When it comes to building a successful business, following people like Pat will save you a lot of trouble and save you a lot of time. He has done it all. Whatever you’re struggling with in your business, Pat probably has a video, product, or seminar on how to do it.

He’s the real deal! The advice he gives trainers is pure gold. If you’re not following him, you’re missing out.

How’s the culture at your gym? What would you add to this list? Does everyone at your gym have the same vision and core values? Do you struggle getting people on the same page?

The students I work with are starting their leadership and business class mid june. The first thing we’re doing is developing their personal core values that they will now try to match with their future employer. It’s not fair for the employee and the employer to have a completely different core values and vision.

If you’re wanting to get everyone on the same page at your gym, do all the little things that seemed silly, but are actually EXTREMELY important, Pat has you covered on his Virtual Fitness Mastermind  ->

Every time I tell my story about how I got started in the industry, I have to thank Pat. At 19 I attended one of his seminars in Louisville. Where I chugged two glasses of wine to build up the courage to introduce myself to Mike Robertson. Mike had just done a presentation that completely changed the direction I was going with my career.

Mike was so nice he invited me to dinner with his group where I met the people that ended up being my biggest mentors in the industry.

and now, here I am, trying to make this industry better, raise the bar for the personal trainer, connect people to the best in fitness, and of course, rattle the cage 🙂


Increasing Buy-in with a Third Party

You know how your friends and family don’t listen to your advice? Sometimes clients can be the same way.

It can be tough to get clients to believe in concepts like getting more rest, getting better sleep, and working on their movement variability.

Especially when most gyms in town are encouraging the opposite and the mainstream media still glorifies training programs that are similar to the biggest loser.

When you seem to be promoting the opposite of what the rest of the world is saying, it can be a HUGE challenge to get your clients to buy into taking care of themselves.

A few years back I realized that it helped if the information was coming from a third party and not just coming from me. I started finding other experts in the field that were sharing the same beliefs I was trying to share.

Since they were skeptical in what I had to say, I found articles and videos that backed up what I was saying. That’s when I started getting people on board with all the unsexy work that comes with rest and recovery.

I’ve written a few articles you can share with your clients since they are geared towards the general population. All of these articles had to be less than 700 words so the chances of your clients reading them are greater than sending them a 6 page article with terminology they can’t understand.

The first one is about sleep and the importance of regulating your sleep and wake cycle. If you’re looking to achieve results that you’re able to sustain for a lifetime, you’ve got to work on your sleep! Getting a client to stop downplaying the benefits of better sleep quality is getting easier and easier with all the information coming out.

The second article I wrote are for those that keep clocking hours at the gym with little to no results because they’re not focusing enough on recovery.

The third one is about breathing being the secret to pain-free strength training. I wrote this because my target market are scare of lifting weights, have been hurt by personal trainers in the part, or are in some type of pain which makes them believe they’re not capable of getting stronger. Getting someone to buy into lifting weights is not dangerous can be a challenge but it’s my specialty 😉 If we share the same target market, this article is perfect for you!

The last one is about how to find the right gym and the right personal trainer. This one is good for clients to see because unfortunately, a degree or a certification tells you NOTHING about the person’s ability to coach your correctly.

I also put together a compilation of experts talking about recovery over at Darkside Strength. 

Each week I released a new video that I also sent to our clients! You’ll notice some of these experts repeat the same thing. Which hopefully makes your clients realize it might be important 😉

Here are a few of the videos on that blog:

Dave Rascoe talked about SLEEP! The hot topic in the industry.

Mike T Nelson and Lance Goyke talked about AM walks

Justin Moore and Mike Baker talked about what kind of training they can do in the gym that will help improve their recovery

For the rest of the videos check out the whole blog on Darkside. You can individually send each video to your clients 🙂

What are a few things you struggle getting your clients to buy into? Have you thought of doing workshops at your gym with guest speakers? Do you have a facebook community group where you share tips and trusted resources? Let me know what you do! I’m always interested in what other trainers are doing.


Until next time 🙂


Social Media Post of the Week

The smartest meathead in the industry makes the Social Media Post of the Week once again 🙂

Last time I highlighted Pat, I talked about not getting emotionally attached to things that you’re doing because people like Pat will come around and make you feel really uncomfortable if you have an ego that prevents you from changing your ways.

With this facebook post, if your ego is too big to let go of ideas and exercises, I would probably leave my website, and you should not follow people like Pat and myself.

I personally hate band pull-aparts. Mostly because I spent a year trying to convince another trainer that it wasn’t the best shoulder health activity and that it didn’t undo the bench press.

So I will always hate on them, but like Pat mentioned in his post and in his comments. If you’re coaching it correctly and your goal is to get some upper back muscle development, then you’re “okay”.

But if your goal is to keep the shoulders healthy and increase movement variability, then you should think of furthering your knowledge on the relationship between the shoulders blades and the rib cage. ( watch video at the end)

Then powerlifting got brought up in Pat’s post where I gave my 2 cents.

Pull Aparts are praised in the powerlifting world.

Don’t they need to do a lot of pulling? Don’t they need a strong upper back? Don’t they need to undo the bench? Band Pull Aparts should be part of their warm-up, right? They are sagittal creatures and they WANT and NEED to be in extension, isn’t that correct? You can’t take the powerlifter’s extension away because they’ll get weaker, right? 


Content always matters. Why are they doing band pull aparts? to mimic the same position as the bench press? Shoulder back and down? Cool. Keep doing them.

To keep the shoulders healthy? Fix problems they’re having during their lifts? ehhh this is what I think ->

The body is great at giving you illusions. It may look like you struggle extending and keeping your upper back together, but it might be an issue with your rib cage position, not your lack of pulling exercises like band pull-aparts.

I might not be a powerlifter but I’ve worked with people like Tracy Jones who has had amazing success getting away from the conventional powerlifting mind and has gained an appreciation of respiration and thorax position.

Many coaches get fixated on the shoulder blades and getting them to move but they’re forgetting (or not aware of) that the position of the thorax has a HUGE influence on the shoulder blades ability to move. Here’s a quick video where I explain it 🙂

Hope this was helpful.

Let go of any ego you may have. Always be ready to be wrong.

Until next time 🙂





Social Media Post of the Week

This week social post goes to Kyle Dobbs! 

When things in your business (or life) don’t go your way do you look at yourself? or do you blame others?

If you’re a leader, blaming others when things are failing will just end up hurting you in the long run.

When looking for a leader (employer) find someone who is good at taking ownership for all the bad things that happen to their business.

Two books that have helped me:

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek 

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink ( A good friend of mine thought I needed to do a better job at taking ownership to the shit that was happening to me so he gifted me this book. Even though I only read half of this book, it completely changed me. Can’t wait to read the rest of it haha)


Until next time 🙂


Functional Medicine 101 for the Personal Trainer

I don’t know why my friend got cancer and I can’t make any broad statements about it. That doesn’t stop me from wondering, what if? What if his childhood acne would have been seen as a digestive issue? What if his anger problems would have been seen as a leaky gut problem? What if his body was nourished with the right foods, the right sleep, and the right environment, would he be alive right now?

The repetitive sad thoughts that run through my mind constantly, do beat me down, but they’re also behind my fire for this website. This website is not just about coaching. It’s about creating a personal trainer that takes a multi-factorial approach when it comes to teaching their clients how to be healthy. The type of personal trainer that looks at ALL aspects of a client’s life. A personal trainer that takes the time to educate each client about the importance of sleep, community, food, and sustainability.

We live in world of quick fixes, with a medical system that keeps people sick, and with the majority of the population being completely uneducated.

If this world is ever going to change, people need to start getting educated. People need to be aware that there’s more than just conventional medicine out there. Just because a man in a white coat said lifestyle and diet will not contribute to their three autoimmune diseases, doesn’t mean it’s true.

I think if more personal trainers dove into functional medicine, we would start making a change in the right direction. Trainers can be the door into the world where people take their own health into their own hands, and a place where people take responsibility to what happens to their body.

If you’re interested in taking a multi-factorial approach to your training and start changing our sick, uneducated world, this week’s interview is just for you!

I interviewed Jared Seigler, an amazing functional medicine practitioner at Living Proof Institute. We cover a few things I think you’ll enjoy.

  • What is functional medicine? 
  • Why a personal trainer needs to look beyond diet and exercise
  • What are a few things a personal trainer could be overlooking that will get in the way of health
  • Questions you can ask that will give you a better idea how prepared a person is to train
  • What are the red flags you should pay attention to with clients that lets you know they need extra help 
  • What does it look like when a client is being pushed over the edge 
  • What are some red flags that should not be ignored with babies and toddlers 
  • How issues manifest if not addressed 
  • What it looks like to take a functional medicine approach
  • Why insurance isn’t a good way to justify not seeing a functional medicine doctor

I hope after this interview you’re a little more motivated to get your feet wet and start learning about blood work, nutrition, sleep, and mental health.

Where should you go as a trainer to learn more about Functional Medicine and Nutrition?

Glad you asked 😉

I’ve got a lot of resources!

Dr. Ben House: He has retreats, online mentorships, and endless articles. When it comes to raising the bar with coaches, Ben is your guy. Dave and I signed up for his first Costa Rica Functional Medicine retreat in 2017 and it changed our lives! It had a huge influence with what we’ve tried to do with our gym, Enhancing Life.

Dr. House has a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin, which is one of the top ranked public universities in the United States. Dr. House is also a Nutritionist (CN), Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist (FDN), and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner (CFMP).

Chis Kresseris a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He is the creator of, one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world, and the author of the New York Times best seller, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback in December 2014 as The Paleo Cure).

Dr. Terry Wahlsis a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she conducts clinical trials. She is also a patient with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which confined her to a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. Dr. Wahls restored her health using a diet and lifestyle program she designed specifically for her brain and now pedals her bike to work each day. She is the author of The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional MedicineThe Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles (paperback), and the cookbook The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life: The Revolutionary Modern Paleo Plan to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions.

Robb Wolf: a former research biochemist is the 2X New York Times/WSJ Best Selling author of The Paleo Solution and Wired To Eat.  Robb has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast, books and seminars.

Dianna Rodgers RN: Is a “real food” nutritionist and writer living on a working organic farm in Carlisle, Massachusetts. She runs a clinical nutrition practice, hosts the Sustainable Dish Podcast, and speaks internationally about human nutrition, sustainability, animal welfare and social justice. Her work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Outside Magazine, Edible Boston and Mother Earth News. She can be found at

Dr. Bryan Walsh:  He currently delivers courses in biochemistry, physiology, and pathophysiology as an Instructor at University of Western States. He serves as a Scientific Advisor at Lifetime Fitness, where he designs laboratory panels and interpretation methods as well as provides ongoing education for the professional staff. Dr. Walsh is also a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and has been seeing patients throughout the U.S. for over a decade.

Dr. Mathew Walker: is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Founder and Director of the Center for Human Sleep Science. He’s the author of Why We Sleep, where gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming.

Dr. Sachin Patel:  is a proud father, husband and chiropractic physician.  His passion is to help his patients and community through his organization, The Living Proof Institute.  He serves his community as a Functional and Lifestyle Medicine Provider, speaker and author.

Dr. Jared Seigler: is a  Functional Medicine Provider at The Living Proof Institute. Dr. Seigler has great success working with patients that have autoimmune disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders and gastrointestinal conditions.

Dr. David Perlmutter: s a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his innovative work in brain research, including the 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award and the 2002 Linus Pauling Award. He is the author of the #1 New York Times best seller Grain BrainThe Grain Brain Cookbook, and Brain Maker. He serves as medical advisor to the Dr. Oz Show. His newest book, Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, was published in November, 2016

Dr. Mark Hyman:  a practicing family physician, a ten-time #1 New York Timesbestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and was a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and The View, Katie and The Dr. Oz Show.

Dr. Michael Rusciois a doctor, clinical researcher, author, and health enthusiast. Dr. Ruscio practices Functional Medicine and is currently performing two clinical trials in the treatment of digestive conditions. He is also writing a book on the microbiota. Dr. Ruscio gives smart, busy people who are suffering from symptoms of chronic illness simple steps to get better, and get on with life.

Dr. Mike T Nelson: is a university instructor and owner of Extreme Human Performance, LLC. He’s been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed and the results Mike gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.


Hope this was helpful!

Until next time 🙂






Social Media Post of the Week

For this weekend social post I picked the amazing, Michelle Boland. 

How to set up for DB Pressing. The type of set up that get clients thinking “Yes…this is what I pay for. All the little details I can’t get anywhere else”

Very simple cues, but extremely overlooked. Many trainers still coach it by asking their clients to pack their shoulder blade down. I’ve even had a well intended physical therapist ask my client to not let their shoulder blade protract during a press (UGH). But like Michelle Boland states in her post, she’s looking for the rib cage to RETRACT, and we she gets the rib cage in a more optimal position, your client will be more successful with the activity you’re trying to get them to do. 

If you’re not coaching someone’s thorax to retract before activities, you’re really missing out. I didn’t until 4-5 years ago when I was coaching 18 group classes in one week. When I got away from packing the shoulders and started getting people reaching, everyone’s movement quality and their ability to lift with great form shot through the roof.

Michelle has been sharing great tips like this on social media for a long time. If you’re not following her, your clients are missing out on results 😉

If you’re actually serious about taking your coaching game to the next level, I’ve got some great news for you!

Michelle just released her NEW PRODUCT! 

What You Get:

–          You get links to OVER 190 creative and advanced exercises

–          You get 21 Full Coaching Tutorials

–          You get 21 videos with Full Audio Coaching Explanations

–          Video Links for your programming that will save you time and effort

–          FREE Conditioning Exercises

–          Discounts on new editions


If you want to keep up with the best in the industry, you have to put in the work and get better on a constantly basis. That’s exactly what Michele does, and it’d be crazy to not learn from her.


Until next time 🙂


“I Love Writing About Myself” – Said No One Ever

My least favorite part about my job has been to write my bios for my speaking events, describing my services on my business’ website, coming up with workshop descriptions, or writing marketing adds.

It has caused me many miserable hours and many tears because who loves selling and talking about themselves? No one, other than Donald Trump.

I would sometimes ask someone else to do it, and it would end up being cheezy AF, leaving me feeling gross about what I had to offer.

Fortunately, thanks to my friend, Lance Goyke, I discovered that people actually can be hired to write all of these things for you.

How many of you know what Copywriting is?

Did you know it’s career choice and people make a shit ton of money doing it?

I didn’t until last year and it has changed EVERYTHING for me.

It started out with me hearing about it, and then a client offered up his services, and in a nutshell, he basically told me the descriptions on my website sucked. He never actually said those words but he made me realize that the description about my business was not specific enough, it wasn’t grasping the right people, it was cheesy, and it wasn’t bringing anyone in.

With his help, we were able change my website around but unfortunately, I still have to write bios, workshop descriptions, facebook post, emails, and I can’t afford to pay a copywriter $$$ to do all my writing for me.

Because of this, I decided to do some digging and work on a skill that I clearly sucked at, and chances are, you do too.

I didn’t find many resources in the industry (if you know of any, please share!) but the few that I found helped me a ton.

The first one was part of Pat Rigsby’s Virtual Mastermind. Justin Yule did a whole section on copywriting, that I overlooked for months until I found out what Copywriting was.

He gives you a lot of templates that I was able to tweak around. I also used his templates to practice writing some of my own.

Joey Percia was another person I stumbled upon. Jon Goodman mentioned him on one his facebook groups and if Jon thinks he’s good, that’s all I needed to know to start following his work. I read one Joey’s articles on his website which really helped! Joey also has a pretty solid online course for fitness pros if you’re interested in digging deeper than just a few articles and videos.

Neville Medhora is not in the fitness industry but he has some really great content. I highly suggest reading his blog and signing up for his newsletter. He is always sending tips that help you with your writing.

Learning about Copywriting has even helped me with my teaching job at the personal training school. I’m able to deliver my message across with more clarity and get certain responses out of people and the cool thing is, I haven’t put that much time into learning about it, unlike Lance that took a 90 day course on it!

Can you imagine every person walking into your gym being exactly who you want them to be?

Because that can happen when the writing about your business is done correctly.

Your target market would read about your business and they would see themselves as they read through it. It would make them go “that’s me”, “that’s where I belong!” or “those are my goals!”

Over the last four months every new client that has walked into the door has have been perfectly carved for us. They’re exactly who we want to work with and we’re exactly who they want to train with.

How many clients are you losing because they’re not seeing themselves when they read about your business?

If you’re wanting to get the right people in the door, do a little learning, take a course, or hire someone like Lance that will write it for you.

I hope this was helpful!

Until next time 🙂




Social Media Post of The Week

I used to do lateral band walks and think I was training people in the frontal plane.

Then I took my first PRI course and realized “Shit….the body is way more complicated than I thought”

Over the last 4 years my training has really transformed thanks to all the courses I’ve taken and all the people I started following. I’ve left so many exercises I used to do behind. Not because I necessarily think they’re bad exercises, but because they were not doing what I thought they were doing, and because I’ve found better ways to achieve what I’m trying to get for my clients.

For this week’s Social Media Post of The Week I picked Justin Moore, a coach that really understands how to train people in all three planes. He’s so good at describing what you’re looking for that you might feel all those muscles working just by reading through his description.

I hope Justin’s post helps you expand your mind and make you aware that frontal plane work is more than just moving side to side.



I received a number of questions regarding this activity so I figured I’d turn it into a post.

This is a combination of constraints and external cues I’ve seen Ryan Hornuse with my favorite sensorimotor competency activity that I took away from Pat Davidson’s Rethinking The Big Patterns course.

This is a 1/2 kneeling bottoms up split squat with a focus on frontal plane centering and early stance sensorimotor competency. It’s a fantastic way to integrate PRI principles into a dynamic movement prep activity, and it has had my hips feeling incredible since I started implementing it into my own practice.

Begin by finding the heel and the big toe of the front side foot, then imagine you are pulling your heel back toward your body without it actually moving. This should give you hamstrings on the front side leg, and when done properly, you should feel your pelvis scoop underneath you.

Maintaining that sensation, exhale and feel how your abs bring your ribcage down, in, and back to shift the thorax back in space. With the thorax back, and the hamstrings rotating the pelvis posteriorly, bring your cranium back so that it aligns directly over your thorax and pelvis if you’re viewed from the side and look up.

Got that? Thats sagittal plane competency.

Maintaining that, try to center your nose, sternum, belt buckle, and knee over your big toe while reaching your contralateral elbow forward and across your body while flexing your biceps and reaching your ipsilateral arm back while flexing your triceps. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead throughout.

This is where the wall and the foam roller come in brilliantly. To do this, you must shift your center of mass in the frontal plane towards the front side leg and away from the wall. If you are touching the wall or nearly touching the wall, you know you haven’t shifted your center of mass, or you’re thorax is listing back towards the other side. If you lose the foam roller while doing this, you know that your femur came along for the ride and abducted and externally rotated as the pelvis adducted over it. We’re looking to disassociate a pelvis from a femur, not move them as one inseparable unit.

This is frontal plane competency. Straight 💵💵💵

Maintaining all of that, coil into your front side hip by turning your belt buckle more to face your front side leg. This is acetabulum on femur internal rotation, and the result should be that your back pocket on the front side leg should shift behind the back pocket of the back leg (seen in video 3). Continue to apply pressure to the foam roller, as this is your external cue to maintain active adduction and internal rotation of the front side femur in the acetabulum.

The contralateral elbow reaching forward with flexed biceps and the ipsilateral arm reaching back with flexed triceps will, along with proper airflow management, drive transverse plane thorax rotation.

While the thorax rotates, the cranium remains in place with the eyes looking straight ahead, which means that the cervical spine has rotated in the opposite direction of the thorax.

This is sensing the transverse plane.

When executed properly, you should feel hamstrings, adductors, abs, posterior hip, and triceps on the side of the body with the leg forward, as well as serratus and biceps on the side of the body with the leg back.

Hold this position and take 5-6 breaths. To make it make it more advanced, maintain all of these sensorimotor competencies and apply more and more and more pressure into the ground through the front foot until the back leg unweights and lifts off the ground into a split stance position. WARNING: this is much more challenging than it seems, don’t rush to the split squat version.

If you want to learn more about this activity as well as the unbelievable model of integration that Pat is dropping on people find a way to see him give his Rethinking The Big Patterns Seminar. If you are a PT or a fitness professional you’d be a fool to miss out a learning opportunity from the guy who is bringing together various complex models better than anyone in the business.



I hope you found that helpful!

Until next time 🙂






The Fragile Post-Rehab Client Who Can’t Lift

Chances are, you have someone at your gym who feels like their body is not cut out for the regular strength training routine. They’ve recently been discharged from PT, recovering from surgery, have a replacement of some sort, or have some chronic pain issue that no one has been able to figure out.

These clients might have been hurt by uneducated trainers in the past, which leaves them scared that they’ll be pushed beyond their limits. The last thing these clients want is more pain and discomfort.

Maybe a medical professional scared them of weight training by telling them that squatting and deadlifting would leave them hurt or injured.

These clients might have been fed ideas by other professionals going out of their scope or Dr. Google, and now believe they have fractures, tears, joints out of place, or other random dysfunctions that they most likely don’t have.

A lot of these people tend to stay away from gyms and lifting weights. They believe that low level activities like yoga and pilates are the only things their bodies are capable of doing.

Through physical therapy that didn’t fully rehab, unexperienced trainers, misinformation on the internet, and a no pain no gain fitness culture, these people are scared, and they have every right to feel that way.

As a coach, you can’t take that feeling away on day one, or you’ll never fully gain their trust. You’ll get little to no results. They might even stay with you, but they will always feel misunderstood by you.

Even though these people feel like they’re fragile as glass, and they think moving and lifting can be dangerous, they’re not broken. They won’t shatter if you have them get after in the gym.


You can’t treat them like your regular client that came to you specifically for aesthetic and strength goals.

You must meet this client at their story through appropriate progressions, building trust, and bringing awareness back to their own body. By working in this fashion, these clients can perform a strength training program just like any other client.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

How are you going to take someone that feels like delicate glass to feeling like a bulletproof window?

How do you convince these people to try new movements with confidence, when they think they’re one movement away from (re)injuring themselves?

How are you going to build enough trust so when the time comes, and they pick up the 62lbs KB off the ground, they truly believe their body is capable of doing it without hurting themselves?

How are you going to convince someone who believes they’re not capable of doing anything other than rehab exercises on the ground, to believing they can build a strong confident body by lifting weights?

Fortunately for you, it’s what I do on a daily basis, and I’m going to show you how I’ve been doing it for the last several years 🙂

90% of my clientele were/are those clients.

The ones that have been with me for a while walked in feeling broken, fragile and dysfunctional.

Now they feel fearless, safe, and are lifting weights.

Over the years I’ve improved enough to be able to progress people faster and efficiently. I’ve gotten better at earning their trust through educating and squashing misconceptions they once had. I’ve also developed a system that helps them feel safe while training, because the last thing you want with these people is for them to feel unsafe.

Here’s how I do it 🙂


  1. Build Safety


These clients are expecting exercise to hurt. They’re waiting for something to go wrong. They’re thinking your training will end up failing them, just like all the other things they’ve tried.

I assure these clients that we are going to take things slow, while secretly in my head thinking “little do they know they’ll be squatting and deadlifting in no time”. By slow, I mean using only 1-2 activities day one.

Yes. That slow.

Could I use my coaching skills and coach them through a decent KB squat or hinge? sure. But even if it was a perfectly done squat or hinge, they’re unfamiliar with those feelings. Unfamiliar = unsafe. Unsafe thoughts and feeling alone could cause them to have a flare up or experience pain, and then they believe I pushed them too hard.

If that happens, trust is gone.

With 1-2 lower level activities I’m able to 1) respect that they feel like they’re not capable of much 2) familiarize them with references and feelings that we will associate as “safe”, like hamstrings, glutes, quads, heels…etc, and 3) give me an idea of how their body responds.

On their second day I ask them how they handled their first day, and I’m prepared for them to say something like “My back acted up a little that night” or “My hip felt a little achy the next day.” Without making it a big deal, I ask  “Oh ok. How are you feeling today?” They usually respond with “I feel fine today” and I give them a big smile and say “that’s great! Your body handled it well, we’ll do the same thing today!”

We go through the same thing, but add 2-5 more low level activities in positions like supine, quadruped, and half kneeling.

On their third, day I’m prepared to hear a similar response, but I make sure to point out that they did 3-4 times the amount of work that they did on day one, which means their body is building up a nice tolerance and that they’re on the right track.

These activities are teaching their body what it means to work hard, be challenged, but most importantly, feel safe. Just because they barely get off the ground that doesn’t mean they’re not being crushed. If you coach them correctly, they’ll be extremely challenged by exercises like half kneeling, low bear, and wall squat.

Three to five training sessions of low level activities and the client starts to feel safe doing these exercises. From there, I convince them to try one round of squats, sled push, or something like ball slams. They end up feeling all those areas they spent familiarizing with over the last couple of sessions, which makes the more challenging move suddenly feel SAFE.

As soon as it feels safe, that’s when you can successful start loading them 🙂


  1. Get Buy-in with Your Assessment

This is funny because it’s usually the other way around. How are you going to get your regular client that wants to lift heavy to buy into breathing? You educate them and show them how it’s going to make them a better lifter.

With the fragile post rehab client, you use your assessment to get your buy in for the exercises your picking for them. For these clients, getting better assessment findings is a positive thing. My biggest test right now is the infrasternal angle (ISA). I also test hip and shoulder motion so the client can see improvements. Improved motion and assessment = GOOD in the client’s eyes.

After we do activities, I quickly assess something. Not just for my own findings, but for the client. If they see that their shoulder motion improve by 40 degrees after an exercise that felt like a super hard plank, there’s no way that exercise is dangerous, right?

Last week I had a new client ask if I could check her ISA because she could now exhale twice as long as she could when she first started. A wider ISA meant progress, and if she felt like she was progressing, it made sense when I came out with a new program where she’d be increasing her load on everything 🙂

If I yell out “Oh damn!! That angle is 90 degrees! That’s amazing! Great job!” Then what they’re doing must be a good thing.

Which takes me to my next step…

3) Get Excited.

These people already feel bad about themselves because they can’t do much. So I get jazzed up when they do things correctly. For someone who doesn’t show much emotion, I get extremely happy and proud of them. Then the clients actually start feeling good about themselves. If I can get them to believe that they’re doing a really good job, the more likely they’ll progress themselves at a faster rate. If they’re hesitant with what they’re doing, they’ll want to stick to the same weights.

4) Learn About Pain

As a coach, pain can’t scare you. Pain has been a voodoo word in the industry and I felt like it wasn’t my job to learn about it. I was always under the impression that if a client was experiencing any type of pain, I would have to refer out.

Unfortunately, referring out doesn’t mean pain will always be resolved. Bad things can be ruled out, but pain can still persist. My clientele forced me to learn the ins and outs about pain, and has helped me educate my clients on occasional post-training pain and flare-ups. Most of these clients associate pain with damage, and that’s not always the case.

A few places you can start learning about the Why and How people have pain is through Zac Cupples’ Pain Talk and his podcast that he is releasing next week!


5) Have Great Coaching Skills

There’s no way around this one. All the knowledge, people skills, patience, and empathy in the world won’t help if you can’t effectively coach exercise.

When it comes to coaching someone out of compensating, these clients will need it the most. I mentioned this in my last article, and I will keep mentioning it, you must follow people who know how to coach. People who are coaching on a daily basis, and are constantly getting better. Coaching people through movements is an art, and not many successful personal trainers do it well.

Follow these people on social media, bookmark their website, mimic what they’re doing, learn from their coaching, steal their cues, and become a good coach.

Michelle Boland, Pat Davidson, Justin Moore, Cody Plofke, Zac Cupples, Lance Goyke, Ty Terrell, Doug Kechijan, Mike Baker, Michael Mullin, Mike Robertson, Bill Hartman

These types of clients don’t get better with half-assed glute bridges and fire hydrants. They need the detailed individualized training that takes a high degree of coaching skills.

If you want to successfully work with these people, you can’t skip this step.



6) Find A Physical Therapist to Back You Up

Maybe you have great coaching skills, but despite your best educational efforts, your client still fears loaded movements. This is where comanaging a client with a like-minded physical therapist can be a dream come true.

But beware. If they don’t promote strength training, and they don’t have a coaching background, it can be a total nightmare.

I’ve made the mistake of communicating with a PT through a client, and that always ends in frustration. I’ve had PTs tell clients who were experiencing knee pain to not to do any lunges or squats, even though the only time they were experiencing pain was during random movements outside of the gym. I’ve had a PT tell my client that shoulder blade protraction is bad, that pecs are bad, and that she shouldn’t press, and because of that she has stuck to a 15lbs DB press for as long as I can remember.

If you can find a PT that promotes strength training, you can really help these people out. I’ve even scheduled movement consultations with people like Zac Cupples to help educate my client on loading their system. Even though it’s not a physical therapy appointment, it’s still a physical therapist saying “Hey. Lifting weights at Enhancing Life will be the best thing you can do. It’s not dangerous. If I were rehabbing you in-person, that’s how I’d progress you”



  • Build safety within their own body and gain their trust
  • Have a test and retest system that helps build buy-in with the exercise selection
  • Get excited for the things they can do
  • Learn about pain so you can educate your client when they have flare ups 
  • Work on your coaching skills
  • Have a PT that believes in strength training and who has a coaching background

Do you work with these people? How do you convince him to lift weights? Is there something I didn’t cover that you would like to learn more about?


Until next time 🙂







Social Media Post of The Week

My first Social Media Post of the week must go to one of my favorite people in the industry.

The one and only, Pat Davidson!

He posted a status on Lateral Band Walks and the internet lost it.

It was a get your pop-corn and read the comments kind of post.

It makes you realize how emotionally attached people get when someone questions their thought process over an exercise they’re doing with their clients.

Pat basically said lateral band walks are a waste of time, and the justifications started pouring in within seconds.

Really smart people like Michael Mullin chimed in

Pat wasn’t saying you were a bad coach for doing them, he was just saying that they’re not doing what most people think they’re doing. Just like people try to juice cleanses to detox and flush their body but that’s not how it actually works.

Coaches that really thrive in this industry are constantly adapting to new information that they’re learning without getting emotional about it.

If I woke up one day and Pat Davidson, Bill Hartman, and Zac Cupples were telling coaches the best way to get people moving better would be be getting clients to push their bellies out as they breathe in, do a bunch of band pull aparts, and lateral band walks, I would throw my ego at the door, and start getting people to pinch their shoulders blades back and down and start getting people better.

Don’t get attached to anything that you’re doing. Someone will come around and show you how you’re not quite getting it. It happens to me DAILY. I’m constantly feeling like I’m messing up and I don’t actually know what I’m doing.

Always be ready to be wrong. That’s how you get better, and that’s how you get your clients the results no one else can.

You know what doesn’t get people better? Being close minded with a “we’ve always done it that way” mentality.

If you really want to know what true frontal plane work looks like, I would HIGHLY recommend buying Pat’s seminar –> Rethinking The Big Patterns. 


Until next time 🙂