The End of Dieting – Interview with Kelsey Flanagan

Are 30 day challenges where you cut out certain foods or follow a certain diet a thing that we should stop encouraging? If we’re wanting our clients to get results they can sustain, are we better off helping our clients change their relationship with food vs encouraging another diet?

In this interview, Kelsey shares her nutrition approach she takes with clients. The results say it all:

Learn about Kelsey’s approach, start implementing a few things she talks about with your clients, or find someone like her to work with your clients if things are out of your skill set.

Where to find Kelsey:

Her website:

Instagram account: @kelseyflanagannutrition

Facebook Account:

Courses/businesses mentioned if you want to take the route she took:

Precision Nutrition

Hormone Specialist Training 






Fixing Upper-Body Lifts with Breathing

I want my clients’ upper-body lifts to look good. When they look good we can really add load and increase their strength. If they fall apart and complain that it hurts, we can’t really progress.

During this webinar, I go over the mistakes I made early on that left me with little to no results. I go over what I do now to get my client’s shoulder mobility to increase and their pushing and pulling to look good 🙂

If you struggle understanding all this crazy breathing stuff, this webinar is PERFECT for you.


Resources mentioned in the webinar:

(let me know if I forgot one)

A Safe Training Environment for Scared Rehab Clients

Do you work with the post rehab/chronic pain population? I’m sure you get a few who are scared of strength training, who think their body is fragile and only capable of low level activities like yoga and pilates.

How do you gain their trust and progress them through a program without them feeling like your training is going to hurt them?

Below is a video of my protocol for these types of clients. How I take them from scared fragile clients to regular gym-goers 🙂


If you’re interested in learning more about pain, I’ve written about it here and here.

If you want to know more about studying your target market check out this post.

Until next time 🙂



Connection of the Week- Aline Thompson

Every single profession you’ll find people who are exceptional, average, and below average. In the physical therapy world, it has been a double edge sword to be introduced to countless exceptional physical therapists who are providing a service that is not seen with most PTs. It has made the standard that I hold people in this profession, very high.

As a trainer of the post rehab population, I want nothing but the best for them. I care about my clients just as much as I care about my family. If my family had to see a physical therapist, I wouldn’t want them seeing a below average one.

I don’t like seeing my clients dependent on a PTs hands to put their body back together every 5 weeks for the last 2-5 years. It makes me sad seeing my clients scared of moving because of the maladaptive beliefs they developed from the PT’s lack of proper communication. It disappoints me that PTs haven’t educated my clients on how the amount of pain they’re experiencing doesn’t equal to amount of tissue damage.

When I voice my frustrations on this field, it gets confused with frustration and disrespect towards all PTs. Which is not the case. It’s frustration towards the PTs who don’t know how to communicate with people in pain, keep patients on a reoccurring schedule that last for YEARS, and those who scare patients from living because they believe they’re one sneeze away from blowing out a disc.

My frustration comes from witnessing the ones that I care about go through unnecessary suffering, and knowing there’s better treatment out there

To expect below average therapists to change what they’ve been doing their whole career is unrealistic. The chances are very low for a whole industry to change. But what CAN happen is the younger crowd going into this profession knowing and being influenced by exceptional PTs.

Which brings me to my Connection of the Week, Aline Thompson.

She’s one who meets my high standard and if you’re in the rehab and fitness industry, you’ll definitely want to start following her.

She recently put together a blog post filled with resources if you’re wanting to learn and understand Pain Science.

I’ve barely scratched the surface on this topic but it didn’t take long for me to acknowledged most professionals don’t know how to communicate with people in pain. I’m not just talking about physical therapists. I’m talking medical doctors, coaches, massage therapists, chiros, the list could go on and on.

Most our clients will experience pain as some point in their life, and the lack of this knowledge could seriously hurt them….in more ways than one.

If you’re interested in making the health, fitness, and rehab industry better, Aline’s guide is the perfect place to start 🙂

Until next time 🙂





Three Ways to Build Breathing Buy-in

The #1 question I get is “How do you get people to buy into the breathing?” 

Coaches REALLY struggle getting people to buy into breathing but to be honest, It’s not a hard sale….IF you’re working with the right people, you understand your target market, and you’re a good coach.

In the following video, I go over three reason why you’re struggling getting people to buy into it and how to start getting better at it. 🙂

Until next time 🙂


Connection of the Week- Programming for the Newbie

I work with future personal trainers. Which means they know nothing, have zero experience, and they’ve been exposed to internet famous fitness pros who look great but actually suck at training.

They’ll often ask my opinion about certain exercises they’ve done in the past or ones they’ve seen at the gym.  Sometimes it’s exercises that I think should never be done like bosu ball squats. But most of the time they’re asking about exercises that are targeting a specific area like abs, glutes, and the upper back. All things they’ve heard are important.

It’s taken me a while to figure out a good answer because these exercises are not technically “bad”, they just don’t make it on my top list to pick from.

Are you putting something like a Russian Twist into someone’s training program and deprioritizing things like squats, deadlifts, upper body pushing or pulling? What are you trying to accomplish with that exercise? Are there other activities that would give you what you’re trying to achieve and them some?

My programing (the strength training component) is only composed of three things. These three things are big priorities.

1) Lower body bilateral and unilateral lifts: Squats, deadlifts, split squats, step ups…etc

2) Upper body Pushing and Pulling: Horizontal and Vertical

3) Accessory/Core: Activities that most likely have a breathing component to it that drive things like rib cage retraction, trunk rotation, hip rotation, anti-extension, anti-lateral flexion…etc

1 and 2 help my clients build muscle, gets them stronger, loads their system, improves their fitness, and most importantly, makes them anti-fragile.

3 allows my clients to do 1 and 2 without having many setbacks due to movement limitations, pain, or injuries.

Realistically speaking, clients will only train twice a week. So that gives you about 6-8 exercises per program. That’s not a lot. The 6-8 exercises should be ones that give you your biggest bang for your buck. There’s no room for fluff. Every single exercise should have a good reason to be on there.

When adding an exercise to a program, ask yourself: what do I need to deprioritize to put this exercise in my client’s program?

Like the Russian Twist. Does it take the place of any of your client’s main lifts? Then I’m not interested.

Then ask yourself what are you trying to achieve with the Russian Twist? Abs? because I have other activities like Low Bear that also target abs….AND helps with rib cage retraction, drives air into the posterior thorax, gives the shoulder blades a rib cage to glide on, opens the ISA, helps shut off an overactive low back, opens the pelvic outlet, makes walking effortless, helps restore ROM in the extremities, and most importantly it carries over to other things that I’m trying to achieve on the training floor.

And that’s why I wouldn’t do the Russian Twist. When students ask about these kind of exercises, I feel bad that I keep saying I wouldn’t do them. But as you can see, for me to use something in a client’s program, the exercise really needs to deliver. It needs to give me more than the ones I’m currently using.

That’s the kind of training I like to provide to my clients and honestly, it’s the kind of training I want the students to develop.

It’s rare for students to come in with great mentors. These students usually have only been exposed to big box trainers that have personal training as a part time job while they’re waiting for their real job to begin, and the famous internet trainers. What a horrible influence. The quality of training is just not the same. They haven’t been introduced to people like Mike Robertson, Pat Davidson, Justin Moore, and Michelle Boland.

and I feel like it’s my job to help bias them towards my bubble of the industry. Even though they probably feel like I’m forcing it on them, but that’s neither here nor there.

The world desperately needs better coaches.  

So to help guide them in a better direction, I went on my facebook and asked my circle in the industry where they would send brand new personal trainers who wanted to learn about programming.

Key word: BRAND NEW.

Because let’s be honest, if I send a brand new trainer to Pat Davidson’s seminar, It will ALL go over their head. The terminology, anatomy, coaching, implementation….everything. It takes experience to be able to do what Pat is teaching. Which is why I love him but I can’t expect a brand new personal trainer to implement what he is doing with his programming.

I want resources/mentors that have made things simple and digestible. A philosophy that will make them biased to progressive strength training. Resources that will guide them in the right direction so one day they can read Pat and Michelle’s work and they’ll be able to take it in.

I’m with brand new personal trainers 5 days a week. I see the look on their faces when I start talking about hip adduction with an acetabulum moving on a fixed femur. I notice the inability to subconsciously know what to do when the client is not doing things correctly.

I see the lack of experience 5 days a week.

I’ve had to look back and figure out how I got to where I am at now. That way I can appropriately progress them through without overwhelming them, but at the same time letting them learn from all of my personal mistakes and experience. I don’t want them wasting their time doing lateral band walks to “target glutes” as part of a triset when they could be deadlifting.

With my efforts to set them up for success, I’m doing exactly what two people on facebook said


100% agree with what Elsbeth and Kris said there. Learning how to train themselves and then mastering their coaching skills should be two big priorities for newbies. When a trainer lacks experience they only have their own body that has gone through it, which is a huge advantage because you can actually demo the activities that you’re trying to get your clients to perform. Have you ever seen a trainer who can’t squat trying to get a client to squat? I have. It’s not pretty.

You can have the best programming in the world but if you can’t demo or coach someone into a simple squat or hinge, the programming will never work.

Multiple people brought up Mike Robertson which I was pretty happy about. Mike makes everything digestible. He is my #1 blog for new trainers. It’s how I got started in this industry and I was in the same place these students are at now. His product Physical Preparation is the perfect product for beginners! If it were up to me, all the students would go through it. .

A couple people mentioned Pavel and Dan John. I’ve never seen their work so I have nothing good or bad to say about them. I do plan on checking them out for the students though!

If YOU have an resources for new trainers leave it in the comments below!


Until next time 🙂


Connection of the Week- Start Respecting Sleep

I went rock climbing in Reno for the first time since 2016 and it felt amazing to be back.

It made me wonder why I quit in the first place. And then I remembered…

I quit because I got fired from my job, I lost most of my community/clients, had a headache every single day, had problems with my vision, a yeast infection that lasted months, fell into a deep depression, felt extremely fatigued, and had my anxiety at an all-time high that I was almost certain Xanax was the only way out.

So I quit rock climbing.

2016 was a rough year and my physical and mental health was breaking down.

I had also just finished a 14-month long Massage Therapy School where I went to class from 6-10pm. Even though I never worked on my quality of my sleep, I had always been one to go to bed early and wake up with the sun. Through massage school I was sitting under florescent lights until 10pm and didn’t go to sleep until 12-1am.

(if you’re a little confused on why I’m telling you about my sleep schedule through massage school, keep reading, it’ll make sense at the end)

Looking back made me really realize how far I’ve made it since 2016. Day by day I still feel like an emotional wreck with anxiety to travel. But compared to the actual wreck I was back then, I’ve come a long way.

I hadn’t realized how much of my mental health had improved.

I don’t cry every day. The people I care about can go on trips without me feeling like I’m never going to see them again. I’m able to get in the car and take myself to the airport. I’m not having nightmares every night that are making it hard to go to sleep.

I’m also no longer a victim. The anxiety that I have I know is under my control. If I would just sit down and fucking meditate every day and organize my life, I know I would be a much calmer person.

That’s a world of difference than how I felt when I thought medication would be the only way I’d stop feeling the way I was feeling.

Looking back also makes me wonder if I would have handled everything I went through differently if I hadn’t attended massage school and my sleep hadn’t taken a huge hit.

Our bodies are meant to endure stress and be resilient to it, and mine was breaking the fuck down. Was my health going down hill because of my stressful situation or was I not able to handle a stressful situation because of the quality of my sleep?

The more depressed I got, the less time I spent outside. There were days that I’d sit on the couch all day with the curtains shut because my eyes were so sensitive to light. I wasn’t training due to being so fatigue, and every time I’d stand up from a sitting position the room would go black. All my energy was going to train my clients (which was the only thing keeping me sane).

With my health deteriorating, and wanting what was best for our clients, we signed up for a Functional Medicine Retreat in Costa Rica, hosted by Dr. Ben House. Before the retreat, we were required to take multiple tests and watch videos on topics like, sleep, blood sugar, autoimmunity, blood chemistry…etc

The information in his online mentoring and his retreat ended up changing my life and the life of my clients.

At one point he said something along the lines of “I don’t even want to see someone if they don’t have some of these things in order” Which were things like a regulated circadian rhythm, eating the right amount of veggies, and having their blood sugar under control.

Which meant if they didn’t have a few of these things in check, he wasn’t going to waste his and their time trying to run a bunch of test when their problem could possibly be fixed if they worked on things like regulating their sleep.

So I started eating more vegetables and respecting my sleep. I started blocking light at night, getting sun in the morning, and within two months my periods started being lighter, I was getting less cramps, and my breast were no longer swelling a week before my cycle.

My body got leaner without much training. I was able eat more carbs on my off days without it affecting the amount of body fat I carried, which was something I was never able to do before. In the past, I’d quickly notice if I overdid it on carbs on the days I didn’t train.

My mind was blown. Had I just created a hormonal change without expensive spit tests, 50 different supplements, and $300 functional med visits? Was my body actually not that fragile? Could it endure huge amounts of stress without negatively affecting my health?

That’s when I realized, giving your body good quality sleep is extremely downplayed.

I can’t help but wonder if some clients are a “regulated circadian rhythm” away from reaching results they can sustain for a lifetime. A lot of them say they’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, but they’re not willing to work on their sleep

So for the last year or so, Dave and I tried to figure out how we can get our clients to care about their circadian rhythm. How could we convince them that it might be more important to get sunlight in the morning and wear glasses at night, than trying to follow another whole30 at the beginning of the year.

We’ve failed miserably. No one believed us, and no one wants to work on their sleep.

Which is not their fault, it’s our society’s fault. Our society doesn’t respect sleep and it’s time for that to stop. Not getting good quality sleep could be the answer to someone’s health problems but it’s one of the hardest sales. Getting a client to appreciate sleep is actually much harder than getting them to buy into all the breathing.

After failing many times, we are finally making some progress and I’m here to share that with you today.

First it starts with educating yourself. You need to know the what, why, and how. You need to be able to answer questions from the skeptical clients. You need to be able to take on their hesitations and share information with them they can trust.

After you educate yourself, you need to start educating your clients.

We started out with a sleep seminar. Where I gifted free semi-private sessions if they attended. That was my way of forcing them to come. But you don’t have to do that.

Before the workshop I heard a lot of comments on how they weren’t willing to change much but they decided to attend anyways. After the seminar, multiple clients reached out and told me they were getting blue blocking glasses and changing the lighting around their house, so that was a pretty big win for us at Enhancing Life.

But that was only some of our clients. We were missing everyone else who didn’t attend. On top of that, people need to constantly hear the information because the more education they get, the easier it is to make changes.

That’s when we bought books and started a library.

A few clients checked out Why We Sleep and Sleep Smarter, but who has times to read books? Especially super busy parents and professionals.

A couple months later we had a chalk board painted on the wall where we would highlight client’s successes. Not just highlighting people’s personal records but also their lifestyle changes like getting better sleep, eating more veggies, and meditating. If clients saw other clients working on all the lifestyle components, they’d be more willing to give it a try.

This week we started something new and it’s only Wednesday and I think we’re onto something!

We started a weekly challenge that we would encourage all clients to do and once they completed it, they’d go on the board. This week’s challenge was to listen to Joe Rogan interviewing Mathew Walker, the author of Why We sleep.

By Tuesday we already had multiple clients come in talking about it. Everyone was so willing to do the challenge. By the end of this week, I have a feeling we will have more clients convinced they need to work on sleep which will be a HUGE WIN for Enhancing life.

Next week the challenge will also have to do with sleep, and the goal will be to get enough people interested that we can finally start making some changes as a community 🙂

So how do you educate your clients on sleep? I would LOVE to hear what you do at your gym.

Have you not dug into any sleep information as a personal trainer? If not, I’ll attach a few things below to help you get started because if your trying to help people be healthy, you can’t ignore someone’s sleep quality.

Blue Light and Sleep

Why You Need Sun Exposure

Sleep Scientist Warns Against Walking Through Life ‘In an Underslept State

Sleep Problems? Here’s 21 Tips to Get Better Sleep

Until next time 🙂



Leadership and Culture By Kyle Dobbs

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 ([email protected]).

To get the slides and notified when his website is live CLICK HERE


I hope this was helpful!

Until next time 🙂


Connection of the Week- Pain Talk

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 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.

My education started with Zac Cupples.

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!

<<Practical Pain Talk>>

He also has written a couple of articles that help you work with these people:

You’re Hurt, Now What? 

How to Communicate with People in Pain 

Refer in: When Trainers Can Work with People in Pain

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:

  • If you work with people, It IS your business to learn about pain.


Until next time 😊