Lessons From the Trenches – Part 1

January 23, 2012

Listen Up Trainers and Coaches because this one is for you. I was inspired to write this blog post today by a recent encounter/experience I had.  The experience wasn’t the best one, but I am writing this to provide a positive approach. A few months ago I came in contact with a trainer who boasted about which celebrities he trained and what celebrity trainer mentored him and yada yada yada (fyi no one can confirm any of these clients or the mentor)… This trainer has the credentials, the certifications, the degrees, and certainly had tons of clients (mainly because of the claims of who his celeb clients were). The one thing that seemed to be missing was the results promised to clients.

It’s no secret as you might be able to tell by my Facebook and Twitter posts that Eli Manning is a client of mine, and superstar trainer Todd Durkin is my friend/mentor.  That’s well and good, but no clients would train with us unless we got them results. Telling people who you might train, or who you may have trained under will not get your clients success, nor will it get you success. People hire you to get tailored programs for their success, not some generic” program of the day” that you put clients through that day because you’re either too lazy or ego so inflated to deliver a worthy product.  Lets us not forget, we are in a results driven business. At the end of the day it may be cool who you train and who your mentor is, but none of that matters if you aren’t getting your clients the results they are paying for. If you want to provide your clients with the best experience possible here are some tips to help you out. Some of these tips are so easy to do it might surprise you.

  1. Mind your body language: Standing there with your arms folded is no way to make it seem like you’re interested in your client. Neither is having a seat on a stability ball  because you’re want a seat. There is nothing wrong with getting down on the ground and engaging with your client, while they are doing a floor based exercise. But looking like you’d want to be anywhere else in the world won’t get you clients nor does it keep them. Mind your body language.  EVERYTHING SPEAKS!
  2. Keep your eyes on the prize! Stay focused on your client, not on the TV, or who ever walks by. This one is self explanatory but I’ll go ahead and give you further insight.  I visualize that there is a 3 foot belt/strap attached between myself and the client. I very seldom stray away unless it’s to get another piece of equipment. Having that “connection” to your clients is a great way to stay engaged in your session, and will make the client feel as if you’re actually paying attention to them.
  3. Give your clients what they need encased in what they want. Find out what your clients’ likes and dislikes are and tailor your programming as such. That doesn’t mean throw out the lunges, push ups and pull ups. Of course to get certain results your clients are going to do exercises they particularly don’t like. For example, your client may want a six pack and want to do crunches on an ab machine until they’re blue in the face, but you may know that planks are a better suited exercise for a preexisting back condition. As their coach/trainer your job is to find an alternate method to give them the best results.

Hopefully this post can help some trainers along their journey and perhaps help clients choose the right trainer. In this case its not who you know but what you know and how you apply it that matters the most. Be sure to check back shortly for part 2 of Lessons From the Trenches.

One Game-Changing move you’re not doing!

December 9, 2011

New Years is around the corner and with the new year, come the resolutions. Chances to grow, learn, change, and enhance ourselves in some way. Here is the chance we need to make everything better. We come up with our resolution, set our goals and BAM, 3 weeks later, life has gotten in the way and the resolution is on the back burner until next New Years. Has this ever happened to you?

If it has, then you’re not alone.  We have all the right intentions. We vow to get serious about this year’s resolution, but somehow they don’t happen. Something is missing. ACCOUNTABILITY! We don’t have anything or anyone to hold us accountable for our actions or lack of action. I believe lack of accountability is the major reason why we don’t hit our goals or follow through with our resolutions. We owe it to no one more than to ourselves.

Making yourself accountable will go a long way to ensure your success, but how do you make yourself accountable? By creating a vision for your success, by writing out a DECREE! A solid vision of your path written in retrospect will be monumental in your success. Writing out your decree isn’t rocket science, in fact, it’s simple.  But you have to be able to spend some time going deep and really get introspective. This process will create great CLARITY and VISION, something we may have struggled with in our previous attempts at our resolutions.

To come up with your decree, first lets take a look at what you’re trying to accomplish. For all intensive purposes, because this is a fitness blog, let’s say you want to get in better shape. Lose 10 pounds, drop a dress size, bench press more, run faster, whatever your goal. Now, I want you to give yourself a LOGICAL deadline, 5 months for example. Fast forward to that date 5 months from now and envision what it will look and feel like as if you’ve accomplished your goal. You’re now seeing the change, and the success.  I’ll give you your starting sentence: I am so proud and happy that I ______. Remember, you’re writing as if it’s 5 months from now. Here’s an example, and by all means use the same template:

“I am so proud and happy that I am living more stress free. I am exercising an average of 4 to 5 days a week, I am down 20 pounds and have tons of energy. My food choices are smarter and I have given up having dessert every night. I no longer feel sluggish and my mood is much more joyous.

My quality of life has improved as a result of this new-found  energy and enthusiasm. I start every morning with 5 to 10 minutes of meditation and/or writing, and the clarity it gives me makes my confidence grow as the days pass. My workouts are no longer dreadful and I enjoy working out. This feels wonderful! I now feel as if I can conquer any challenge that life puts in front of me. I am stronger, more aware, and excited about my success.”

Writing a decree has helped many of our clients gain clarity and achieve success with their fitness goals. They are more focused and our workouts seem more streamlined now that they have a solid vision of what they are training for. Remember, decree writing can be used for more than just fitness. I have used it my my business and it has paid off with more clients that I enjoy working with. Share your decree with the ones closest to you, and lean on them for the most support. Now that you put out positive pressure into the world by telling your friends and family, there is more accountability for you to succeed. Once your decree is out there, you can’t take it back. Start thinking about what you want to put into your decree before the hustle and bustle of the holidays catches up with you. Think about it, then put pen to paper and make that decree visible wherever you go. Now is the time for your success. Let’s build upon the past failures, or learning experiences and act upon your commitment to yourself. Commitment + Accountability = SUCCESS

Peace and Health!

So You Want to Train Barefoot?!?

August 29, 2011

For the past few years the growing trend of barefoot training has popped up everywhere. From health clubs to running clubs, and yoga to cross fit, many people have decided to bare all (well at least their feet anyway).  Let it be known that we are fan’s of barefoot/minimalist training shoe and believe one should slowly progress into it. At least once a week, we hear about someone’s friend, or coworker, who tried to go the barefoot/minimalist shoe route and ended up hurting themselves. If you are curious to try a pair of minimalist sneakers, please do not be scared off by your friends experience. Instead, prepare you feet for what lie ahead. Start by wearing them in short spurts, to the office, for a walk around the block, or for a weight lifting session. If you plan to wear them for your running workouts, we recommend starting out by wearing them for just 25% of your normal mileage, for example, if you run 15 miles a week, run about 3.5 – 4 miles per week until your feet become more acclimated never running greater than a mile your first few times out. Gradually work back to your regular distances just after 2 weeks. To prepare yourselves here are a few exercises you can do to prepare your feet for barefoot/minimalist shoe .

  • Short Foot: Have a seat with your shoes off, cupping the bottom of one foot—without curling your toes—so that it makes a shallow cave. To see what your foot should look like, cup your hand against a flat surface to use as a reference. After you’ve successfully done this, the next steps are to progress to a more unstable environment maintaining this “cupped” foot position while standing, while performing a lunge, and eventually in a single leg stance.
  • Pencil Pickup: With one foot at a time  spread your toes apart as best you can, and try to pick up a pencil with your toes. Also try moving your toes independent of each other.
In case of foot soreness, take a tennis or golf  ball and massage the bottom of your foot along your arch for 30 to 60 seconds. If you decide that you want to explore barefoot/minimalist shoe training put these tips into play to stay healthy and get stronger.

What it means to be truly healthy

August 28, 2011

Was just taking some down time to read and come across this great excerpt from the book Clean by Alejandro Junger “…real health, durable and joyous comes from detoxification, removal of the poisons by wisdom, insight ino the true nature of reality, the experience of the self being one with the universe, filled with energy and bliss, not needing to be greedy, not fearing or hating anyone, but being joyfully compassionate to all, seen as ultimately the same as oneself and beautiful in their relative difference – just as one sees one’s beloved child or lover or good friend. This is the true health of enlightenment.” How many of us view what it is to be healthy this way? Mind, Body, and Spirit.


Peace, Love and Health


DQ Fitness LLC

For Functionality Sake

May 16, 2011

Functional Training is a term that is thrown around all too often. It seems that every trainer and their grandma says they are doing it. Have you ever been to the gym and seen a trainer putting a client through some weird exercise and wondered “how in the world is that going to help them?” We will say that while some exercises may seem awkward, they do help you in the long run i.e Turkish Get-Up, or TRX Scorpion. However, there are some exercises that make us look back and say REALLY???( Let it be known we are not fans of lifting weights while on a spin bike) Sure that exercises would work if there was an activity that never would apply in the real world.  Unfortunately, some trainers are getting bored with doing practical exercises.

When it comes to training an individual or yourself, there is one question that must remain constant, “Does this make sense?” Will this exercises help someone get better at a particular activity/sport or help them with basic functions of life. If the answer is yes, then go right ahead and do it. Common sense trumps all when planning out a fitness routine. Boredom should never be the driving factor when planning a workout routine. We are all for keeping things fun, interesting, and cutting edge, but keeping them awkward with no practicality is another. Plan your exercises to be fun an interesting for beings who live in this realm of the universe.

The “Sexiness” of Fitness

May 4, 2011

Today’s post was inspired by our good friend Frank Pucher of Fitness 1-2-1 in Roseland NJ. His theme as you would say for this year is to bring the “SEXY”. No, we aren’t talking about the sheer attractiveness or actually physical act of having sex. We’re talking about the, intricacies,  attitude, the swagger, the je ne sais quoi of doing something, and being damn good at doing it. The Attitude of Sexy and the depth of what makes things interesting is the topic of discussion today.

You see, to us  Fitness is Sexy! Fitness is sexy because there are so many styles, and ideologies, that no one particular style is the definitive approach. Literally, whatever floats your boat is the attitude we all share. From Cross Fit to Pilates, Athletic Training to Bikram Yoga etc,  you choose what “Kool-Aid” you want to drink. The fact that there are so many things to choose from and we all “get-off” (pardon the reference) from something different is what we found so interesting about fitness.

Because there is no definitive approach to how to go about fitness, everyone gets to see what resonates with them. Seeing someone bond and develop a successful relationship with a particular style of fitness is a thing of beauty, it’s SEXY! The swagger and confidence you see someone obtain because they have found something they are good at and it works for them it SEXY! The debates on which style/methods are best or which styles/methods pair well together is SEXY! Say what you will about sex and the act/art of it, but there is no denying the fact that the swagger, the various methods, the empowerment, and the joie de vivre, all derived from world of fitness is just plan SEXY!

The Status Quo and the Culture of Personal Training

April 25, 2011

I’ve been reading a couple of great  books these past few weeks (Gary Vaynerchuck’s Thank You Economy, and Howard Schultz’s Onward) and it has made me notice a couple of things that  may not be ok with the health and fitness industry.

We’re worried about the Culture of the Personal Training industry. Many, not all, but many personal trainers are content with the lackluster quality that has become the personal training experience.  Everyday we walk into big box health clubs and notice trainers, some of which are no longer certified, putting people through the paces as they watch on disinterested with the work they do (some actually put every single client through the same workout). The same thing goes on with the private sessions we perform in condo’s with gym’s in Hoboken, NJ. Trainers show up as if it were laundry day, and barely put any effort into the training session. Often times we sit in amazement as trainers take two stability balls, one for their client and one so the trainer can sit on and check his/her text messages. This unprofessional CULTURE has become all to common hence, becoming the STATUS QUO. The Status Quo SUCKS!

You might say, why don’t the clients demand better? Quite simply, clients have become accustomed to the Status Quo because they have never known anything else. Indeed ignorance is bliss, until someone gets hurt. Now we aren’t saying everyone who is personal training performs their sessions this way, but there are enough to cause concern.

We as personal trainers have the ability to connect and influence people greatly. Why not make the most of this opportunity and do it the right way. We as trainers must live by sound principles that allow us to become world-class in delivering our services. To deliver that “World-Class” experience there has to be a passion to become a master of our craft, a genuine interest in our clients and not just their renewals, and for pete sake focus on them and not what’s on TV or on your cell phone, or who just walked by wearing what. Trainers, lets demand more for ourselves. We owe it to our clients who are spending their hard-earned cash. Clients you deserve better, so demand better!

Demand a Better Status Quo!