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Jae Chung on Coaching, Cuing and Building Relationships

Jae Chung worked as a coach at IFAST for seven years, coaching mostly general-population and fat loss clients. Before working at IFAST, Jae taught martial arts (primarily T’ai Chi Ch’uan), taught English in the Peace Corps, tutored writing to undergraduates and graduate students at Indiana University, and also taught violin lessons.

Jae is currently enjoying a temporary retirement as a stay-at-home dad to two children under the age of 3.

In this show, Jae and I talk about a ton of stuff, starting with how his most elite athletic skill growing up was typing fast, what he means when he says you can’t bat 1.000, his thoughts on effective vs. ineffective cues, and why a pivotal moment in his life was when he stopped worrying about looking smart, and instead focused on becoming smarter.

The audio is a bit shaky for the first 2-3 minutes, but after that, you’re in for some real coaching gold.


Show Outline

Here’s a brief overview of what we covered in this week’s show:

  • Show Intro:
    • Labor Day Weekend Recap
    • Complete Coach Launch
  • Deep Thought/Motivational Message:
    • Be a Good Human
  • Interview with Jae Chung:
    • How Jae stumbled into a career in physical preparation.
    • His wide ranging career path that ultimately led him to IFAST.
    • What it means to “flirt” with your clients (and why YOU should be doing it).
    • Jae’s thoughts on building relationships and rapport with your clients and athletes.
    • How to interact with and communicate with “tough” clients.
    • What makes an effective – or ineffective – cue?
    • Jae’s favorite cues, and what makes them so darn effective!
    • How a guy that was once described as a “cold son of a bitch” because a warm and caring coach that virtually every client loved and adored?
    • The BIG Question.
    • Our always popular lightning round where we discuss moving to a new city, what it’s like raising 2 kiddos under the age of 3, a few resources he’d recommend to become a better coach, and what’s next for Jae Chung.


Related Links


Do You Want to Become a Complete Coach?

It seems like every day I talk to a young trainer or coach who is frustrated.

Frustrated with the results they’re getting.

Frustrated because they don’t have trusted resources to learn from.

And maybe they’re frustrated because they simply don’t have enough clients, and wonder how long they’ll be able to stay in the industry.

So if this sounds anything like you, I’ve got something that I know will help!

My Complete Coach Certification was created for trainers and coaches just like you – who are serious about the results they get, and know that becoming a better coach can directly translate to a bigger bottom line.

This certification is going to take the last 20 years of my life’s work and put it all into one massive course. In it you’ll learn:

  • How to use the R7 system to create seamless, integrated and efficient programs for clients and athletes of all shapes and sizes,
  • How to create the culture, environment and relationships with everyone you train so you can get the absolute best results, and
  • The exact progressions, regressions and coaching cues I use in the gym – from squatting and deadlifting to pressing and pulling and everything in between.

Of course there’s a ton more that I cover, but that should give you a pretty good idea of what the certification is all about!

The Public Launch will open TOMORROW, and after that, you won’t be able to get in again until March of 2020.

So if you’re interested, please head over to first thing tomorrow to get start with the certification. Thank you!


Sharing is Caring!

If you took something away from this show, please take 30 seconds out of your day to share via email, social or whatever means work best for you.

Thanks so much for your support!

The post Jae Chung on Coaching, Cuing and Building Relationships appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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3 Quick Fixes for a Stronger Deadlift - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 15:30
Quick fixes: They're usually bandages on a leaky pipe. But in some cases, a quick fix might be more like the duct tape that fixed the Apollo 13 module. These 3 technique fixes are like duct tape for your deadlift, so wrap up and strengthen that lift.
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Editor's Letter for September - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 09:03
As we begin to swing into autumn, take a quick fall into the piles of content we have stored away for this month: more Table Talk episodes, exercise variance, conjugate, strength training equipment (for injured rugby players and small budgets), food allergies, internship opportunities, and more!
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Garrett’s USAPL Nationals Training Log | Part 2 - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 08:52

Garrett Blevins continues his training for USAPL Raw Nationals using the JuggernautAI Powerlifting system.

The post Garrett’s USAPL Nationals Training Log | Part 2 appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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Changing Your Mind, Internet Arguments, Metabolic Adaptation, and Leigh Peele (Episode 16) - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 05:00

Time Stamps

0:02:54 Airing of grievances

0:07:51 Feats of Strength

0:20:44 Coach’s Corner, part 1: metabolic adaptation

0:31:10 Coach’s Corner, part 2: don’t inject your urine

0:49:46 Question of the day: What are some big things that you’ve changed your mind about over the years?

1:23:51 Recipe time: stews

1:36:18 To play us out: college football predictions, and trademarking the word “THE”

1:41:14 Interview with Leigh Peele

1:42:04 Why is Leigh too busy to accept our dinner invitation, but free enough for a lengthy podcast appearance?

1:46:19 What is a “layman researcher?”

1:47:51 Early days on the evidence-based fitness forums

1:49:54 The transition from trainer to layman researcher and teacher

2:02:04 When ideas rapidly turn from “outrageous” to “obvious”

2:11:17 Metabolic adaptation and starvation mode

2:29:19 Transitioning after weight loss is achieved

2:50:10 Does Leigh believe in any specific training or nutrition strategies that lack supporting research, or that directly oppose the existing research findings?

3:00:06 Where can people find Leigh Peele online?

The post Changing Your Mind, Internet Arguments, Metabolic Adaptation, and Leigh Peele (Episode 16) appeared first on Stronger by Science.

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30 Days of Shoulders: Days 11-20 - Thu, 09/05/2019 - 03:35

I’m writing this from my most favorite place in the world…

…a room full of cute and cuddly kittens.

Just kidding, I’m in London.

I’m here because I have a few speaking engagements lined up –  a half-day Shoulder workshop for a crew of Equinox trainers in Kensington on Saturday, my Coaching Competency Workshop in Dublin on Sunday, and then mine and Luke Worthington’s Strategic Strength Workshop back here in London next week.

Spots are still available for both the Dublin and London events (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).1

I just checked into my hotel after an overnight flight from Boston and I feel like a zombie.

Needless to say I am not in the writing mood, but I do\ have a little sumthin, sumthin to share today.

Copyright: luislouro / 123RF Stock Photo

30 Days of Shoulders: Days 11-20

This is Part II of my latest series over at dealing with anything and everything shoulders: How to make them bigger, how to make them feel less like a bag of dicks, you know, the usual.

You can check it out —> HERE (also includes link to Part I in case you missed it).

Enjoy and keep your eyes peeled for Part III coming next week!

The post 30 Days of Shoulders: Days 11-20 appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

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Table Talk Podcast #27 with Zach Thayer - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 16:30
On this Table Talk Podcast episode, elitefts Videographer Intern Zach Thayer grills Dave Tate with a series of questions on a variety of topics.
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The Big Picture of Conjugate - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 08:44
The goal with this series is to get to you to think about how you can manipulate the max effort, dynamic effort, and repeated efforts to fir your needs and to understand that conjugate is a fluid system that requires experimenting.
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90s Hip Hop, Complete Coach, and Mike Robertson - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 08:43

My good friend, Mike Robertson, released is latest resource this week…the Complete Coach Certification.

Check it out here —>

It’s on sale this week only (until Friday,  9/6) at a hefty discount.

If you’re a strength coach, personal trainer, you work with athletes, non-athletes, Doug from accounting, or ninjas, this resource will make you a more well-rounded health/fitness professional.

I had some questions for Mike about the product, but more specifically about his coaching philosophy and what he feels we (as an industry) need to do better.

Copyright: jtrillol / 123RF Stock Photo

Mike and Tony Talk Shop

TG: Mike, first things first: When I came onto your podcast a few weeks ago I introduced you to muy new favorite obsession: the Take It Personal Radio Podcast. How much do you love me it? Which has been your favorite episode (I know it’s hard to choose)?

I have only two words:

Life changing.

Seriously, I love that show so much. I mean, it’s all of the artists I grew up listening to, chopped and mixed to perfection.

My favorite so far is the Wu-Tang episode, but anyone that really knows me knows that I’m a pretty massive fan of the WU!

Note from TG: It’s hard to pick my favorite, but if I had to choose I’d go with the DJ Premier Tribute. Eight freakin hours or Premier beats. My head just about exploded when I listened to it for the first time. And then there’s the Native Tongues (Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, Money Love, etc) tribute that’s something like 12-13 hours long.

I can’t handle it.

TG: Okay, let’s get on track: What was your vision/goal in creating the Complete Coach Certification?

MR: Simple: To push our industry forward, and over time, positively influence 10,000 trainers and coaches across the globe.

Unfortunately what I’m seeing nowadays is a dearth of trainers/coaches who have gone the traditional route – school and a certification – and then struggle to be of any value whatsoever on the gym floor.

They can’t interact with other humans.

They can’t progress or regress clients.

And forgot about asking them to write a program! Their brains are so scattered and influenced by random Instagram trainers you can’t get a cohesive, streamlined program out of them to save their lives.

And while I may sound a little harsh, the fact of the matter is, it’s not really their fault.

This is the culture we’ve created for training and coaching.

So my goal is to fix that.

To show trainers and coaches how systems and procedures can make their lives easier, and help them get better results.

To show them it’s not about knowing 1,879 exercise variations, but knowing 10-15 really good exercises, being able to progress/regress as necessary, and then coach the hell out of them.

And to show them that if you act like a professional and get really good at what you do, this can be an amazing career.

One where you can make real money and have a life outside of the gym as well.

At the risk of sounding bold or narcissistic, here’s where I’m at:

I’m only 41 but I don’t think it’s too soon to start thinking about my legacy.

  • What did I bring to the table?
  • Did I really make an impact?
  • Or did I live a life where I could’ve done more, and instead settled to play small ball?

If I go out tomorrow, I want people to be like “That Mike Robertson wasn’t perfect, but damn he did his part and made a massive push to  drive this industry forward.”

TG: I, uh, taught my toddler to go pee-pee in the potty last week. That’s my legacy…haha. I know this is about as lame of a question as I can ask (but I’m going to ask it anyway). What are some common mistakes you find coaches make with regards to program design?

MR: I don’t think it’s a lame question – it’s actually one we need to be asking more often.

Here’s a brain dump:
  • Having no clear goal.
  • Having too many goals and “program jumping.”
  • Not knowing the basics of program design (sets/reps/time under tension, how they all work together, etc.)
  • Poor (if not awful) exercise selection.
  • A lack of cohesiveness across all elements of the program (resistance training, conditioning, etc.)
  • Failing to meet a client/athlete where they’re at.
  • Failing to give a client/athlete some of what THEY WANT in the program.
  • Letting their beliefs/training focus influence that of their clients/athletes.
  • Being too boring with their programming.
  • Being too random with their programming.

I mean I could go on and on here, but hopefully you catch my drift.

As an industry, we have a looooooooong way to go to get our program design skills up to snuff.

TG: What do you feel has been the biggest change or maturation in your own programming since you first started coaching? As an example, for me, it was the under-appreciation of sub-maximal training; I’m a firm believer (now) that easy training is good training.

MR: Man this is a really tough one, so I’m going to give you two:

1 – I do a better job of planning and programming all elements of a program nowadays. For instance in the past, I was a powerlifter so I skewed everyone towards a strength focus.

Because if it was good enough for me, it was good enough for them. Right???

It’s taken me a long time to break that habit, but now I can write a really smooth and well-rounded program for virtually any client or athlete.

TG: Oh man, good one!

2 – The second piece is I’m better at streamlining and transitioning clients between two programs.

Let me explain that in a bit more depth…

Imagine taking a client who is doing an accumulation phase and they’re using like 60-70% of their 1 rep max.

Then the next week, you decide they need to move to max strength and so you start crushing them with 90% loads.

Can you imagine how jarring that is to the body?

So it’s been a big goal of mine to smooth out all of the elements I have to program for my athletes – from speed/power, to strength, to conditioning – and trying to make those transitions from block to block smoother and easier on the athlete.

It’s never perfect, but I’m light years of where I was even a few years back.

TG: Complete off-topic, but is Bill (Hartman) a cyborg?

He is, but here’s the strangest part – he’s not alone.

There are actually a few hiding in plain sight in our industry.

I’m sure there are others, but these three I can confirm from first-hand experience.

TG: I lived with Eric for two years and was a business partner for eight, I can confirm he’s not a T-1000 (but close).

One of my biggest pet peeves in this industry (other than kipping pull-ups) is how some coaches take this bravado approach and more or less “bully” people into thinking that THEIR way is the only way to coach “x” exercise.

I feel this is a narrow-minded take and fails to appreciate (much less consider) each person’s individual anatomy and how that will dictate set-up and which variation of certain lifts will be best suited for them.

Your take? Agree? Disagree? 

MR: Couldn’t agree more.

TG: Okay, whew, good. Cause if you didn’t shit was gonna get awkward.

MR – and that’s where I think progressions/regressions come into play.

I have a model for what I want a squat/deadlift/push-up/whatever to look like, but I also realize that everyone is going to move different.

  • They have different lever lengths.
  • Their body (thorax, pelvis, hips, etc.) are positioned differently.
  • They have different joint structures on top of that.

So while I might have my model, I also have to realize that every/client athlete is going to find the strategy that works most effectively for them, based on their goals.

Part of the evolution of coaching is realizing that how you think/feel/move is great, but it shouldn’t necessarily impact how you train other people.

Once you get there, training and coaching become a lot more fun.

TG: One missing component of program design, I feel, is centered around the soft skills of coaching. It’s one thing to write a solid program, but then how it’s executed and coached is whole different matter.

I know you touch on this in the certification, but can you maybe elaborate on this here?

MR: Look man, I got by for my first 3-5 years on the floor because of soft skills, so I’d like to think I’m better to speak on this than most!

A big part of my success early-on was due to my ability to relate to people, to empathize, and to build rapport – NOT due to my coaching or program design skills.

I know John Kiely has talked about this in the past, but there’s actual research out there that shows if a client likes you and has positive emotions about you, that they could potentially get better results than someone who might have a “superior” program!

TG: The fuck outta here Mike Robertson! What’s next? Telling me bacon isn’t delicious? That Bachelor in Paradise isn’t where one find true love?

Isn’t that crazy?

When they like you, they have the right biochemical make-up when they enter the gym, and they end up getting better results.

But this is why I’m such a stickler for finding that blend between the hard and soft skills.

Relationships, rapport, and trust are critical – if you don’t have them, you won’t have success in this industry.


But the results are fast tracked when you have streamlined programming and coaching on top of that.

I’m sure you would agree, it’s not an either-or proposition – but finding the balance that works best for you as a trainer or coach.

Complete Coach Certification

I know I say this all…the…time, but it needs repeating:

Those who invest in themselves will last longer in this industry, are less likely to burn out, and, frankly, will often make more money and be more successful.

There aren’t many coaches whom I direct other coaches to more than Mike.

I’ve learned a ton from him throughout the years, I still do, and he’s really outdone himself with the Complete Coach Certification.

It’s on sale this week only and includes the option to pay with installments rather than one-lump sum. Everything from basic anatomy, breathing mechanics (<– SO important), keys to coaching, program design, and Mike’s “R7” protocol is covered.

There’s also a bevy of additional bonuses, including training templates, exercise regression/progression charts, and access to Mike’s fitness business webinar.

Check it out —>

The post 90s Hip Hop, Complete Coach, and Mike Robertson appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

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How to Bench Press without Lower Back Pain

Most everyone who goes to the gym enjoys bench pressing.

And while it’s an awesome exercise for developing upper body strength, at the same time, it can really beat some people up.

Sometimes it’s is the shoulders.

Sometimes it’s the elbows.

And sometimes, it’s the lower back.

But in the words of Roberto Duran, “No mas!”

In this short video, I give you several techniques that you can use right now, today, to alleviate lower back pain when you bench press.

Here we go!

Now that you’ve watched the video, here are a few quick notes and reminders:

  • Elevate the feet. This is the simplest part of the equation – when you get the feet off the ground, you naturally reduce the arch in the lower back. In many cases, this step alone will reduce lower back pain and allow you to press pain-free.
  • Find the hammies. Finding the hammies is another way to reduce that arch in the lower back. If your feet are on the bench, think about finding the heeling and gently “pulling” the heels back towards your body.
  • Keep the back flat throughout. Often when the weight gets heavy, that’s when we try to arch and extend our body to move more weight. And while that’s fine if you’re trying to push max weights, if you’re trying to build strength while staying pain-free, then keep the back flat to the bench throughout.

And if the bench press just isn’t working, consider trying a floor press instead.

I sincerely hope this helps you get back in the gym and move those weights pain-free!

All the best,

The post How to Bench Press without Lower Back Pain appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Offseason Planning with John O’Neil - Wed, 09/04/2019 - 06:23

Episode 25 of the podcast features a collaborative effort between Cressey Sports Performance – Massachusetts Director of Performance John O’Neil and me. We go in-depth on the topic of planning out an effective baseball offseason for high school, college, and professional players. This week’s episode is brought to you by Joovv Red Light Therapy. The research on the wide-ranging health benefits of red light therapy are compelling, and Joovv is at the forefront of delivering this technology to improve your health and performance. Head to and enter coupon code CRESSEY to get a special gift with your purchase.

Show Outline

  • How John and Eric model their training programs to optimize an individual’s off-season
  • What John’s off-season training priorities are when working with high school, college, and professional athletes
  • How having a single sport high school athlete impacts off-season training
  • What factors high school ball players should consider when deciding to play fall ball
  • Why consistency is the most important aspect of a training program and how John emphasizes this message to his youth athletes
  • Why health and performance are not mutually exclusive in the world of performance enhancement
  • How coaches can find success with athletes by identifying the duration of time they have them, honing in on low-hanging fruit in their development, and working backward to drive favorable changes in their abilities
  • What training qualities John focuses on developing early in an individual’s offseason and how these strategies are progressed as an athlete transitions to being in-season
  • Why building a robust aerobic base is of high priority early in the off-season and how this idea transforms into more power related development as the off-season progresses
  • How John conceptualizes his sprint progressions for athletes
  • Why off-season training slowly builds athletes to move more explosively as they approach the season and how John specifically translates general motor potential into skill specific activity
  • What a typical professional off-season training program looks like
  • How John and Eric model off-season training programs around throwing programs to make sure their baseball players are prepared for all facets of their sport

You can follow John on Instagram at @oneilstrength and Twitter at @oneilstrength, and reach out to us at for offseason training inquiries.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we’d be thrilled if you’d consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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Grip Training for Weightlifters and Beyond

Specificity is king—that will never change in regards to strength sport. However, in recent years I have consistently found myself championing the importance of general physical strength and its positive effects for the competitive Olympic weightlifter. This is perhaps due to the fact that I primarily work with novice and intermediate trainees who have no past experience with weight training outside of functional fitness classes or individuals who have jumped directly into Olympic weightli
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Detoxes, Cleanses, and 30-Day Challenges: How to turn a quick-fix diet into transformation gold. - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 23:01

“Get rock hard abs in 30 days!” “Drop a dress size in three weeks!” “Detox your body with juice!” As a coach, you know these promises often fall short. So what do you do when a client wants a quick fix? In this article, we’ll show you five strategies to turn your client’s short-term diet into lasting results. 


“A friend of mine just lost 25 pounds on a 30-day diet challenge. I’m going to try it!”

Sharon was by no means my first client to gleefully skip into a training session and announce she’d found a quick-fix solution.

I understood her excitement. After all, who wouldn’t want such fast results?

But I felt concerned for Sharon. I’ve seen lots of these “overnight” diet challenges and any changes are usually short-lived.

It’s painful to watch clients go through this predictable cycle (see below).

They often wind up right where they started, if not worse off. So as coaches, isn’t our job to put an end to 7-day detoxes, 14-day juice cleanses, and 21-day metabolism makeovers?

Maybe not.

Though every instinct might tell you to coach that “quick fix” mentality right out of your client, there’s a better way.

The best coaches can turn even the worst diet ideas into long-term success.

How? By being open, creative, and strategic.

In this article, we’ll show you five ways to transform your clients’ enthusiasm for diet and fitness “challenges” into rocket fuel for sustainable change.

Strategy #1: Celebrate their effort.

“I see a lot of people wanting to do the Whole30 or a juice cleanse or go sugar- or alcohol-free for a month,” says Jennifer Broxterman, R.D., a Precision Nutrition Certified Coach in London, Ontario.

And while these types of challenges have high failure rates, says Broxterman, don’t discourage them: “That’s a judgmental approach, and it creates a ‘me versus you’ mentality, which isn’t very good for building rapport.”

Instead, focus on the positives… even if it requires you to take a nice, deep breath first.

For example: “A challenge can be really useful if it gets your client excited about eating healthy and feeling good about the food choices in their cupboard,” says Broxterman.

It also shows they’re willing to make changes.

And with your help, clients can gain valuable insights that’ll help them achieve better results moving forward.

By supporting their efforts—instead of shutting them down—you’ll foster trust with your client and strengthen your coaching relationship. 

For a three-step process to help you reframe your coaching perspective and respect your clients’ goals, check out this PN coaching worksheet: Meet your clients where they’re at.

Strategy #2: Learn what drives them.

Your client’s challenge offers you a great opportunity: To better understand their health and fitness goals, their frustrations, and what really makes them tick, says Broxterman.

With non-judgemental curiosity, ask:

“How have diet challenges worked for you in the past?” 

This not only gives you background, it can also better set your client’s expectations (without you having to do so).

“Sometimes, they start telling you how they lost some weight, but not as much as they hoped, and that they gained it back right after,” says Broxterman.

Next, you might ask (in order):

  • “Why do you want to do this challenge?”
  • “What do you hope to get out of it?”
  • “Why is that important to you?”
  • “And why is that important to you?”

The goal is to understand your client’s pain points and true motivation.

That way, you’ll be better equipped to help them—not just during the challenge, but after it’s over, too.

What’s more, these questions might help your client discover a deeper purpose for change. One they weren’t even aware of. This can lead to much greater success, in the short-term… and the long-term.

To help your clients dig deep and find their real reasons for wanting to change, use our “5 whys” worksheet.

Strategy #3: Create a plan.

With any short-term challenge, your client is likely to make a lot of changes—all at once.

And in most cases, those changes aren’t meant to last. After all, people don’t go into a “cleanse” expecting to drink only juice for the rest of their lives.

This is where you, the coach, can really shine.

Help your client identify healthy habits that complement and intersect with the challenge they’re doing. 

That way, you can bridge the gap between the “challenge” and the rest of their life. The idea: to not only improve their likelihood of success during the challenge—but also in days, weeks, and months to follow.

Keep these habits small, simple, and behavior-focused. (Read: “Lose 10 pounds” is an outcome, not a behavior.)

Let’s say your client is committed to only eating whole foods for 30 days. A good habit to practice might be packing their lunch and afternoon snack every morning, to help ensure they stay on track.

Or perhaps they’re attempting a “no dessert” challenge. In this case, you might suggest they practice eating slowly and mindfully, and/or eat lean protein at each meal, both of which can help them feel more satisfied after eating.

And what about a 14-day juice cleanse? That’s a tougher one, to be sure. So get creative. You might suggest they:

  • Plan a social activity once or twice a week that isn’t centered around food and drink. (This is a highly underrated strategy for helping people adjust to a healthy eating lifestyle.)
  • Take 15 minutes each day to walk, foam roll, or stretch. A juice cleanse is not the time to start exercising intensely, but it can be used to establish a baseline daily movement habit.
  • Consciously recognize the feelings that come up when they’re hungry. It can even help to write them down. (Are they sad? Bored? Tired? See more ideas here.) Plus, they can learn to “sit with it,” too. Hunger is inevitable on a juice cleanse, which means it’s the perfect time to learn that “hunger is not an emergency.”

Ideally, by the end of the challenge, these habits are so ingrained it feels natural to continue them.

Bonus: If you and your client brainstorm more practices than can fit into the challenge timeframe, you have a built-in roadmap for what to work on once the challenge is over.

Use our “Outcome goals into behavior goals” worksheet to collaborate with your client on habits that will help get them closer to their targets. 

Strategy #4: Turn “failures” into feedback.

Imagine your client signs up for a Dunkin Do-Not Challenge (a.k.a. thirty days without donuts).

But just four days in, they come to you, shamefully admitting they had a Boston cream breakdown in the office breakroom.

Broxterman recommends using a three-pronged coaching approach: curiosity, compassion, and radical honesty.

Curiosity: Talk to your client about what led to their decision to eat the donut. For example, maybe they worked late the night before and skipped breakfast or didn’t prepare their lunch.

Compassion: Emphasize that they shouldn’t beat themselves up. Encourage them to treat themselves the same way they’d treat a friend or loved one in a similar situation.

Radical honesty: Give your client a chance to be completely upfront about what was going on when the “failure” happened. Maybe they were feeling:

  • a little stressed at the time
  • deprived of the foods they love
  • a bit like they “deserved” a treat

Now show them the upside: Perhaps the donut “failure” provides feedback about the importance of meal prepping lunches. That way, they don’t end up making less-than-optimal food choices.

It may also hint that completely eliminating food—especially ones they love—isn’t the best approach.

By reframing your client’s “failure” into a learning experience, you’ll prep them for future success (and minimize their guilt). 

Here’s another example: Suppose your client is trying to avoid sugar for 30 days, but they’re really struggling. Help them identify their roadblocks.

For instance, perhaps their partner keeps stocking the kitchen with cookies and ice cream. This crystallizes two frequent problems: Their environment is full of tempting foods, and their partner is showing a lack of support.

Together, brainstorm what might they do to improve their environment and/or strengthen their support system. This is how you coach them through obstacles, and keep the momentum going long after the challenge ends.

For a hands-on way to teach clients what it means to be resilient, sit down together and fill out this worksheet on “turning failure into feedback.

Strategy #5: Explore their results

When a client completes a challenge, it’s likely they’ll have some positive outcomes. Maybe they lose a few pounds, stop craving sweets so much, or are sleeping better.

Naturally, they’ll want to maintain these results. But that rarely happens.

People tend to gravitate toward short-term diets is because it’s hard to fathom changing their eating and lifestyle habits for good. For a few weeks, though? That sounds doable

Here’s the problem: This line of thinking encourages all-or-nothing-ism. You’re either doing the most you possibly can to be healthy (an extreme diet challenge), or you’re doing nothing at all (back to your old ways).

But based on working with over 100,000 clients, we can confidently say this: The middle ground is usually where the magic happens.

Your client doesn’t have to keep all the habits they practiced during the challenge—just the ones that worked for them. 

Find out what those are, and discuss how they might continue them. Even if it’s not all the time.

For example, maybe they’ve discovered they really do feel better when they don’t drink alcohol every night but miss having drinks with their partner.

The middle ground might be limiting their alcohol intake to just one or two nights a week.

Or perhaps they love getting to the gym more frequently, but they don’t find cooking all their own meals practical.

The middle ground: They keep their gym habit, but only prepare dinner three or four days a week, which they feel confident they can do.

Here at Precision Nutrition, we call this “always something”—and use it to effectively combat all-or-nothing-ism. 

If practicing a habit at every daily meal is too much, how about at two meals? Or even one? Find out what feels doable for your client, and start there.

Instead of following through 100 percent of the time, what about 80 percent? Or 60 percent? We’ve even found that people can make real progress by being consistent just 50 percent of the time (or less).

Bottom line: Just because your client went all-in on the challenge, doesn’t mean they have to shut down entirely afterwards. Instead, show them how to “adjust the dial,” and keep benefiting from their positive actions.

Help your clients carry over their challenge changes in a way that’s sustainable, with our worksheet on “finding the middle ground.”

Leave your assumptions at the door.

The desire to embark on short-term diets, challenges, or cleanses isn’t going away anytime soon. Are they the best way to improve health and fitness? Probably not. But that won’t stop your clients from wanting to do them.

Truth is, short-term challenges aren’t useless. They don’t doom folks to failure. But most of the time, people start them with the wrong mindset—and without the right support network in place.

Meet your challenge-curious clients with compassion instead of judgement, and you might just be able to use their “summer body slim down” as a launchpad for meaningful change.

Not just for a month… but for a lifetime.

What if you could make a real difference in the lives of others—and never feel confused about nutrition again?

When it comes to better health and fitness, focusing on nutrition is the most important and effective step. But there’s a big problem: Most people don’t feel qualified to coach nutrition, especially in a way that helps clients develop highly-effective and sustainable habits.

That’s where we come in. If you’d like to learn everything you can about nutrition—especially how to use it to help yourself and others—consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.  The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to feel confident and qualified to coach nutrition with anyone.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients, the Precision Nutrition curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the PN Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results—for yourself and your clients.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 44% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’re opening spots in the brand-new Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, October 2nd.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Lock in your one-time special discount—and save up to 44%. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 44% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list. Remember: After October, you’ll never see this price again.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post Detoxes, Cleanses, and 30-Day Challenges: How to turn a quick-fix diet into transformation gold. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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11 things I’ve learned coaching elite and professional athletes. Lessons from our work with NFL, NBA, UFC, & Olympic champions. - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 23:01

Precision Nutrition’s work coaching elite and professional athletes contributes to every innovation we bring to nutrition and fitness. Here are our 11 favorite learnings; ones you can use with any client, with any goal.


At Precision Nutrition, it’s our mission to improve the lives of, and get results for, every single type of client, including our most elite ones (like NFL, NHL, NBA teams, individual pros and Olympians, top-ranked junior prospects, and more).

Interestingly, coaching elite and pro athletes has taught us a lot.

I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty cool to work with some of the most respected athletes in the world. But here’s what’s surprising: In a lot of ways, elite athletes are just like us “regular” folks.

For example: I’ve learned that certain coaching principles apply across the board, no matter who you are and what you do.

(Yep, middle-aged clients just trying to lose belly fat do have something in common with UFC legend Georges St. Pierre).

So, in this article, I’d like to share 11 of our favorite coaching lessons and stories, taken directly from our work with some of the top athletes in the world.

If you’re a health and fitness pro, these can be applied to your coaching clients, whether they’re athletes or they’re just getting started with fitness.

And, hey, if you’re just here as a sports fan—enjoy the inside scoop.

1. Shape the environment and you can get great results, even without intensive one-on-one coaching.

Coaching one-on-one is great. But sometimes it’s not possible. Like when you’re trying to improve the nutritional habits of an entire basketball team in a short period of time.

Precision Nutrition coach Brian St. Pierre has been a nutrition consultant for the San Antonio Spurs since 2014. And he’s seen the team thrive (in fact, they won the NBA championship the year he started working with them).

But when Brian started working with the Spurs, he was a bit concerned about whether he’d be able to help.

With the team’s crazy schedule, he’d have next to zero one-on-one time with each player. Would he still be able to get results?

After careful consideration, Brian realized that he could have the biggest impact by focusing his efforts, not on each individual, but on the environment they all shared.

Brian’s tactics included:

  • Start with a template. After meeting with the players and coaching staff, he developed a meal plan template — focussing on meat, seafood, cooked starch, cooked vegetables, salad, fruit, and nuts — for the chefs/caterers at the training facility, where players eat breakfast and lunch.
  • Make it tasty. He ensured that players’ favorite foods were included in the provided meals. (Brian advised the team’s coaches not to take away Tim Duncan’s beloved Cajun chicken and mashed sweet potatoes.) After all, if the players don’t like the food they’re being offered, regardless of how good it is for them, they’ll just sneak out to Chick fil A.
  • Keep it convenient. He gave the strength and conditioning interns some Super Shake recipes so they could whip up personalized shakes (specific to each player’s needs and personal preferences) and hand them out after training and practice. 
  • Make arrangements for travel. He provided healthy meal ideas for plane rides. (Sometimes coaches insisted on soda and cookies for the ride — for themselves — so Brian gave suggestions on where to hide their personal stash so the players wouldn’t be tempted.)
  • Have a plan for non-practice hours. He recommended meal delivery services as options for dinner. For married players with a spouse who cooks for them, he provided recipes and meal ideas to take home.

These kinds of tactics are pretty simple, and none of them require in-depth, involved one-on-one coaching. Nor do they require any player to engage in some heroic, individual project of personal change.

Whether it’s at a training camp, at home, or in the office, our environment has a huge influence on what we eat.

Shape the environment, and you shape the path toward change.

2. Skill in the gym (or on the field) does not equal skill in the kitchen.

Elite athletes put everything they’ve got into their physical performance. You might assume they bring the same passion for detail, refinement, and mastery to the food they eat.

Some do. But most don’t.

I first learned this in the early 2000s when I went to work with the U.S. National Bobsled team as nutrition consultant. The team asked me to kick off their training camp with a seminar.

Back then I had the notion that, as top-level athletes, these guys must give the same attention to their nutrition as they do to their sport. As a result, I built a full day of seminars on advanced nutrition topics and high-level supplement strategies.

I was all ready to go.

Then the group filed in late, holding bags of McDonalds.

I knew immediately I would have to change my presentation on the fly.

As I asked questions and listened, I realized these athletes still needed to learn the basics. They may have been advanced in their sport, but they were still, for the most part, nutrition beginners.

This is a good lesson for anyone doing nutrition coaching.

Imagine you’re coaching a middle-aged man who’s 50 lbs overweight and has never given nutrition a second thought. Then imagine a 25-year-old who’s 225 lb and 8% body fat training for the Olympics.

Yes, they might be very different physically. But they might also have the exact same nutritional skill level.

(In the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification we classify clients as Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 eaters and have different recommendations for each level. In this case, both individuals would get recommendations for Level 1 eaters.)

So don’t make too many assumptions about your clients. Talk to them, test them, and find out where they’re actually at.

3. If you can’t make it better, make it less-worse.

Recently tasked with helping NBA team the Brooklyn Nets improve their nutrition, Precision Nutrition coaches Adam Feit and Brian St. Pierre worked together to create an optimal nutritional environment at the team’s practice facility.

Seriously, they’re making that dining room a work of art. Beautiful infographics demonstrating hand-size portions and Super Shake infographics; healthy, perfectly balanced menus. Great stuff.

But after training, it’s time to compete. And that’s when the team hits the road. They travel constantly.

Adam and Brian realized the biggest obstacle to maintaining the team’s nutrition was dealing with hotel food. Especially late-night room service menus offering pizza, wings, burgers, and so on.

Adam and Brian couldn’t exactly customize the menus of hundreds of hotels. But they could change the menus the players saw.

So they got ahold of the hotel menus in advance and created pared down versions of each menu — a customized version with some of the best available options.

This smaller, more selective version of the menu is what the guys would see in their rooms or get when the team sat down for dinner.

Sure, it might not be perfect, but it was still a huge improvement. And it made it easier for the players to choose a healthier option without even thinking about it.

One of our coaching mantras at Precision Nutrition is “a little bit better”. We encourage clients to abandon all-or-nothing thinking and look for ways to make even slight improvements to each meal or each workout.

Of course, you don’t have to be an NBA champion to realize that small improvements really do add up.

4. The best meal plan is worthless if your client doesn’t like the food.

A pro tennis standout contacted PN for some help with energy levels, performance, and general nutrition. Of course, we were happy to help.

Brian St. Pierre met with the athlete, discussed goals, taste preferences and other details, and then put together some guidelines including a meal plan template complete with recipe ideas.

The problem: The athlete didn’t like any of it.

Even in the pro sports world, there are self-professed picky eaters.

That’s when we realized that all of Brian’s nutritional expertise wasn’t enough. It was time to bring in the big guns. So we sent our full-time super-chef, Jen Nickle, to help.

Jen and Brian put together a taste-test session with the tennis star. They tried out all kinds of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. They explored food combinations, preparation options, flavors, and so on.

Turns out, the taste-test day was fun. Jen and Brian were able to build rapport with the client and demonstrate our commitment to helping her. Best of all, Chef Jen could make food her client would really enjoy—and actually eat.

(Jen now travels with this athlete to big-time events like the U.S. Open to ensure the best nutrition during competition.)

While not everyone can afford a personal chef, customizing nutritional guidance (and meal plans, if you use them) to a client’s tastes is essential.

If your client is picky, don’t try to insist that they develop a taste for quinoa or sweet potatoes; find out what they do like and work with that.

5. You have to work the way your client works.

Health and fitness coaches: Think about online coaching for a moment. How do you get started?

Chances are you compose a nice email, and you attach an assessment form, maybe a food log for them to fill out, and maybe link to an article for them to read.

What if your client doesn’t have a computer?

In 2014, Brian St. Pierre started working with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. Some of the guys on the team didn’t own computers. And if they did, they never used email.

And why should they? Their lives are spent on the field, in the gym, in film sessions, or enjoying some precious recovery time.

Since, nowadays, people can do almost anything on their phone that they can do on on a computer, they were usually only reachable via text.

At first, Brian admits he felt resistant. He’d been coaching using email for years. Now he had to relearn a new style of communicating and coaching.

But, using his client-centered coaching skills, Brian adapted his methods to his clients. He got over his personal bias, stopped emailing, and started texting.

Interestingly, the texting experience made Brian think more critically about what he was asking clients in the first place. He became more focused, narrowing down his assessments to the bare essentials.

Most importantly, his clients got what they needed.

How to be client-centered is one of the best lessons any coach can ever learn. As coaches, we always have to remind ourselves that it doesn’t matter what works for us.

What matters is what works for our clients.

6. Perfection is not required.

Since 2009, I’ve been helping MMA star / UFC legend Georges St-Pierre with his nutrition. Before I began putting together Georges’ eating strategy, I knew two things.

One, that he had a soft spot for McDonald’s and Subway.

Two, if you tell a client they can’t have their favorite foods, they might end up ignoring you completely.

Think about it. How well could putting my foot down and bossing around a professional fighter (and Welterweight champion of the world) possibly go?

So I gave Georges some suggested meals. These included a few main meals and a few Super Shakes each day. These would cover his nutritional bases.

Beyond that, I told him he could eat whatever he wanted if he was still hungry. I even suggested eating McDonald’s or Subway every few days. Daily, if he liked.

Georges was shocked. And delighted. He couldn’t believe his nutrition coach was basically inviting him to eat at McDonald’s.

Let’s face it: With Georges’ energy expenditure, one meal a day off-script isn’t going to tank his results. It also fit his goals: gaining muscle mass to fight competitors who were getting bigger all the time.

Of course, Georges is not your typical client, and this was not your typical eating strategy. But there is an important lesson here.

Perfection isn’t required for elite athletes—or for “regular” people.

For most people, aiming to get 80% of your meals on-point is an effective goal.

7. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.

Dietary trends tend to go in cycles. Ketogenic diets are among them, resurfacing now and then to grab media headlines. These can get the attention of top athletes who are looking for an edge—with varying results.

Here’s an example. For a while, there was a trainer who made a big splash putting NFL linemen on a strict ketogenic diet paired with high doses of certain supplements. Players/clients would come to his “camp” for about four weeks to learn how to eat this way.

One of these players was an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons.

He heard about other NFL guys getting great results on the program, so he decided to give it a try himself. Within those four weeks, he saw immediate improvement: He got bigger, faster, stronger, leaner—all the things a lineman would want to see.

By the end of the four weeks, though, he started to feel a lot less awesome.

He was experiencing some major symptoms: everything from glucose control issues to hypoglycemia to brain fog to vertigo to anxiety and depressive moods. He even confessed to having suicidal thoughts.

But he had been so impressed by the initial results of the diet, he wanted to keep trying. He tried tinkering with it, cycling his keto days, but nothing worked.

So he called us.

We reintroduced carbs into his diet, recommending he eat 2-3 cupped handfuls of carbs at each meal (five times a day). At the same time, we decreased his fat intake a bit, which helped counter-balance the increase in carbs, calorie-wise.

Within 2-3 weeks, his blood glucose evened out, his anxiety went away, and his performance improved. Plus, the body composition changes he liked about the keto diet stayed the same: He maintained his leanness and his mass.

We found that he needs to be really consistent with his carbs in order to perform and feel his best.

That’s the thing about diets, protocols, and specific methods. Just because it works for one client doesn’t mean it’s going to work for another—even if they share the same goals, athletic ability and body type.

Plus, just because a particular approach can “work” (according to very specific metrics like body weight, for some period of time) doesn’t mean it’s going to work for every goal, indefinitely.

Individual needs should come before trends every time.

And outcome-based decision making should trump “this worked for some other guy” or “this should theoretically work for me”.

8. Bring important influencers (like family members) into the process.

For several years I provided nutrition consultation to Junior A hockey players.

(Here in Canada, Junior A is essentially one level below the NHL. These are the guys already drafted, or looking to get drafted, and become the next great NHL stars.)

While these players are already amazing athletes, they’re also young, usually teenagers. They still live with families, either their own or those they are staying with while playing for a team outside their home town.

When working with these future NHLers, I did some basic education, giving seminars and offering kitchen demos showing how to prepare basic healthy foods.

But I knew that wasn’t enough.

It didn’t matter much what I told the athletes. Because they weren’t the ones making the meals, or doing the shopping, or buying the food.

I had to get the family involved. So I would find out who prepared the meals at the homes where they were staying, then concentrate my efforts on them.

I gave them everything they needed, including:

  • Education about the needs of a young teenage hockey player
  • Cooking demos
  • Recipes and meal ideas
  • Grocery shopping guides
  • And more.

The more I could equip the family to cook well, the better the nutritional results would be for the athlete.

This relates to all kinds of clients, of all ages. Clients often tell us their biggest obstacle to eating better is other people: colleagues, friends, and most of all, family members such as spouses and kids.

Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Acknowledge the other influences in your clients’ lives. Help them work with loved ones and address any roadblocks together.

9. Intense training and strict eating will mess with your body. (But that’s OK for a little while.)

Precision Nutrition offers an elite athlete testing and coaching program which includes a battery of research-based physiological tests and assessments. These are designed to help athletes optimize their nutrition.

The tests include genetic, blood chemistry, food sensitivity, and microbiome analyses. To gather these data, we send a nurse to the athlete’s house or training facility, collect samples, and analyze them.

Then an interdisciplinary team (including our sports nutrition experts, our molecular genetics experts, and our physician) review and interpret the results.

We give the athletes a really comprehensive report of the findings. And then we use the findings to personally coach the athletes for the next six months.

A few months back, we tested a dozen track and field stars — some of whom just competed at the Rio Olympic Games — from the world-renowned Altis facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

In their lead-up to the games, we found something interesting.

Every one of the athletes had suboptimal sex hormone (testosterone, estrogen) levels and white blood cell counts. We discovered a host of other, more individual, things too. But this one was most interesting for two reasons.

First, it applied to both men and women.

Second, a few years back, when doing a pre-season training camp with NFL athletes at Nike HQ, we discovered some of the same things.

Of course, the results aren’t completely surprising. High intensity training has predictable consequences. It’s hard to get adequate calories, sleep, and stress management when you’re in an intense training block.

People who are training for the Olympics or for an NFL season are OK to make that trade-off. They know it’s temporary. And for most people, this kind of physical disruption isn’t dangerous if it’s for a short time.

However, it can become dangerous if you keep going at that level.

Most elite athletes take breaks after a training season, which provides a chance to rest, recover, and normalize. Its no surprise that many NHL athletes spend most of their off-season doing little more than lifting a fishing rod.

But many “regular” exercisers don’t respect the seasonality of sport. Which means, ironically, many of them are as much at risk of damaging their bodies through undereating and under recovery as Olympians.

So keep the long game in mind.

If a client is overtraining, bring the risks to their attention. If they’re making a sacrifice for an important goal, be clear about the tradeoffs.

And always be asking: What’s the goal? How do we get you there as safely as possible? When’s it time to back off and rest?

10. Just because a food is “healthy” doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone.

One client from our elite athlete program is Mikel Thomas, a hurdler from Trinidad and Tobago. Mikel was preparing for the Rio Olympics but was having some issues with recovery.

We conducted our usual battery of tests. In reviewing the data, we noticed he had a high iron saturation, and his UIBC (Unsaturated Iron Binding Capacity) was low. Both factors pointed to an excessive iron intake.

Pretty unusual for a vegetarian.

We also did a food sensitivities test, and noticed an intolerance to chickpeas.

(Note: While food sensitivities tests aren’t 100% reliable on their own, when used in the context of a full spectrum of tests and assessments, they can help give us extra clues about what’s going on.)

When we looked at Mikel’s food log we noticed that most of his meals were based around chickpeas. Giving thought to the data as a whole, we hypothesized that this dietary staple (typical for someone from Trinidad and Tobago, especially for a vegetarian) was actually causing a negative reaction in his body.

Fortunately, when we had Mikel replace chickpeas with alternative protein and carbohydrate sources such as quinoa, his recovery got better.

The moral of this story is not that chickpeas are bad. They offer carbohydrates, some protein, and various vitamins and minerals. They are a nutritious food.

But just because a food is considered “healthy”—or even a “superfood”—doesn’t mean it’s optimal for your client. Especially if it’s over-consumed.

11. Physiological markers don’t tell the whole story.

In 2011 and 2012, as mentioned above, I participated in Nike’s NFL Football Training Camp Pro. This camp brings together 10-15 high-level NFL athletes for a week-long camp of testing, training, eating, and learning experience on Nike’s campus.

The camp included athletes like Ndamukong Suh, Kam Chancellor, Patrick Chung, Jonathan Stewart, Steven Jackson, Greg Jennings, and more. And, at the camp, I delivered nutritional seminars and education to the athletes. I also ran some physiological testing for them.

Interestingly, I tested better than all the guys there on a host of standard markers of health such as sex hormone levels (testosterone, DHEA, etc), vitamin D levels, Omega 3 levels, and more.

Yep, when it came to these health markers, I dominated the NFL stars.

But you know what I wasn’t better at?

Playing football.

This was a great reminder that while physiological markers can be useful, they don’t give us the whole picture. And that putting too much focus on any particular non-sport performance indicator can lead you down a dangerous path.

At Precision Nutrition, we’re proud to be data-driven. We like numbers and tests and metrics of all kinds. But we also know it’s not the complete picture.

You have to look at the whole person to a real sense of what’s going on.

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition 1. Don’t make assumptions.

Appearances can be deceiving. Just because someone is a star in their sport or looks the part doesn’t mean they have advanced nutrition skills.

Instead of making assumptions or guesses about where your client is at, ask questions. Listen. Observe.

Seek to understand rather than to prove yourself right.

2. Remember that in many ways, we’re all the same.

Elite athletes—they’re just like us!

Our lives may be very different but, in the end, we’re all human. We all want to enjoy our food and have some fun. We all have our favorite indulgences and the foods that make us curl up our lips in disgust.

Whether you’re working with celebrities, top athletes, busy executives or just neighborhood folks in your local gym, remember that at the end of the day, you’re coaching people.

3. Remember that in other ways, we’re all completely different.

What works for one client might not work for another. No matter how “super” the food or how “killer” the diet, there is no one-size-fits-all.

And what works for you might not work for your clients, either.

You may have spent years perfecting your intake forms, for example, but what happens when a client doesn’t have a computer? Or is constantly on the go and never has time to look at it?

Your job as a coach is to focus on understanding and supporting the needs of each client. This takes work and practice and, believe me, it is humbling sometimes.

But that’s what it takes to be a client-centered coach.

4. Screw perfection. Help your clients get a tiny bit better.

An all-or-nothing mentality won’t help your clients get anywhere, even if they’re top athletes who are used to aiming for perfection.

Looking for small ways to improve is the best way to keep moving consistently toward change.

That might mean letting a client keep her weekly supersweet Frappucino monstrosity. Or helping her choose the best option on a hotel menu. Or packing her own snacks for the plane.

You don’t need to get rid of everything a client is doing and every indulgence they have. Nor should you.

Find ways of helping them move forward, one tiny little bit at a time.

5. Seek out and celebrate your clients’ superpowers.

Whether they’re a gold medalist or they’ve never set foot in a gym, every single client possesses their own special superpowers.

One of your jobs as a coach is to help them figure out what they’re already good at and put those abilities to use.

Maybe they’re a data junkie and they can use their spreadsheet nerdiness to track their food like a pro. Or maybe they appreciate nature and will enjoy discovering local farms and farmers markets.

Maybe they lack information at the moment but have a great ability to learn. Maybe they routinely fall off the wagon—but they always, always get back on.

Help your clients recognize their own superpowers, and then put them to use.

Celebrate the good stuff. Call out progress every chance you get.

They might never be an NFL star, but you can be their cheerleader.

You can help them become their own superstar.

Want strategies to level up your coaching?

It’s no secret that master coaches develop over time, through education and consistent practice, usually under the guidance of a mentor or coach.

Precision Nutrition is the only company in the world that both works with thousands of our own nutrition coaching clients and teaches health, fitness, and wellness professionals our real-world methods for getting results.

And here’s some great news: Our next Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification Master Class kicks off on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019.

Want to achieve total confidence in your coaching skills? Get (and keep) more clients? Grow and strengthen your practice? If so, the Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification is definitely for you.

It’s designed specifically for Level 1 students and grads who realize that knowing about the science of nutrition isn’t enough.

Part master class, part grad program, part mentorship, it’s the only course in the world designed to help you master the art of coaching, meaning better results for your clients and a better practice for you.

Since we only take a limited number of professionals, and since the program sells out every time, I strongly recommend you add your name to our VIP List below. When you do, you get the chance to sign up 24 hours before everyone else. Even better, you get a huge discount off the general price of the program.

[Note: The Level 2 Master Class is only for students and grads of our Level 1 Certification. So if you haven’t yet enrolled in that program, please begin there.]

Interested? Add your name to the VIP list. You’ll save up to 37% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification Master Class on Wednesday, October 2nd.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following VIP list which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to get started and ready to gain mastery in their coaching practice. So we’re offering a discount of up to 37% off the general price when you sign up for the Master Class VIP list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the PN Master Class twice per year. Due to high demand and a very limited number of spots, we expect it to sell out fast. But when you sign up for the Master Class VIP list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready to take the next step in becoming a world-class coach, we’re ready to share our knowledge and help you master the art of coaching.

The post 11 things I’ve learned coaching elite and professional athletes. Lessons from our work with NFL, NBA, UFC, & Olympic champions. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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The JuggLife | Weightlifting w/ Max Aita and Zack Telander - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 20:09

Chad is joined by Juggernaut Head Weightlifting Coach Max Aita and Team Juggernaut Lifter/Assistant Coach Zack Telander to discuss the faults in thinking that maximal strength training is the most prudent path to Weightlifting success, as well as answering some fans’ questions and previewing IWF World Championships.

Today’s episode is brought to you by…

BioWaveGo, if you’re struggling with chronic pain, use this FDA Approved, non-opioid solution at 


The post The JuggLife | Weightlifting w/ Max Aita and Zack Telander appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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7 Supplemental Exercises to Build the Sumo Deadlift - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 13:03
The more advanced you are, the longer the stretches between records become. If you're in that position (trust me, I've been there before), consider doing some supplemental exercises. The ones listed here will help boost your sumo deadlift.
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What I've Learned From the Mistakes I've Made as A Trainer - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 11:07
It’s great you can point out each origin and insertion of every muscle, but your client doesn’t care. Your end goal is to get your client results and to make them feel better about themselves — not getting them to the point where they're limping out of your gym.
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The SFG Clock—A Guide for the Swing, Clean and Snatch - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 09:09

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” George Harrison Over my years as a coach, I have seen many people demonstrate a variety of kettlebell movements with differing degrees of success. Perhaps they are unaware of the mechanically advantageous groove for a movement, or they’ve just never really appreciated […]

The post The SFG Clock—A Guide for the Swing, Clean and Snatch appeared first on StrongFirst.

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3 Thoughts for Getting the Glutes Going - Tue, 09/03/2019 - 06:52

Recently, I box squatted for the first time in a few months - and the posterior chain soreness I felt got me thinking about the functional anatomy in play, particularly with respect to the glutes. Here's what's rattling around my brain on that front (warning: functional anatomy heavy nerd post ahead).

1. People think of the gluteus maximus too much as a hip extensor and not enough as a posterior glider of the femoral head.

The gluteus maximus is an important prime mover of the hip - especially into hip extension. However, it's also a crucial stabilizer. The other hip extensors - hamstrings and adductor magnus - have inferior attachment points lower down on the femur.

Meanwhile, the gluteus maximus actually inserts higher up - right near the femoral head.

The result is that when you extend your hips with the hamstrings and adductor magnus, the head of the femur can glide forward in the socket and irritate the front of the hip. When you get adequate gluteus maximus contribution, it helps to reduce this anterior stress. In many ways, the glutes work as a rotator cuff of the hip (while the hamstrings and adductor magnus act like the lats and pecs, respectively).

2. Glute activation can be a game changer with respect to chronic quadratus lumborum (QL) tightness - but only if you perform exercises correctly.

Shirley Sahrmann and her disciples have frequently observed that whenever you see an overworked muscle, you should always look for a dysfunctional synergist. A common example at the shoulder is a cranky biceps tendon picking up the slack for an ineffective rotator cuff.

Quadratus lumborum fits the bill in the core/lower extremity because its attachment points unify the pelvis, lumbar spine, and ribs.

When it shortens, it pulls the spine into lateral flexion and the lumbar spine into extension. In other words, it can give you "fake" hip abduction and hip extension - both of which come from the glutes. Whether you're doing mini-band sidesteps, side-lying clams, or loading your hips in a pitching delivery, you need to make sure the movement is happening at the ball-socket (femoral head - acetabulum) rather than at the spine. And, when you're doing your prone hip extension, supine bridges, hip thrusts, and deadlifts, you want to make sure you're getting true hip extension and not just extra low back arching.

3. The eccentric role of the glutes in the lower extremity might be their most key contribution.

When heel strike happens, it kicks off the process of pronation in the lower extremity. This pronation drives internal rotation of the tibia and, in turn, the femur. There is a lot of ground reaction force and range of motion that must be controlled, so much of it is passed up the chain because we simply don't have that much cross-sectional area in the muscles below the knee. Because it functions in three planes of motion, the gluteus maximus is in an awesome position to help by slowing down femoral internal rotation, adduction, and flexion.

If you're looking to learn more about how functional anatomy impacts how you assess, coach, and program, I'd strongly encourage you to check out Mike Robertson's new Complete Coach Certification. I've had the opportunity to review it, and it's absolutely fantastic. You can learn more - and get a nice introductory discount - HERE.

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Too Far Back To The Heels In The Snatch and Clean

A common mistake in the snatch and clean is shifting too far back onto the heels in the pull. There are 3 basic potential problems with this: First it can create a tendency to rock forward in reaction, creating a forward imbalance directly and indirectly by encouraging forward hip extension and the bar swinging forward. Second, it can direct the bar and body backward, limiting bar elevation and reducing stability with added horizontal bar motion, and/or causing the feet to sweep backward o
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