NASM CPT Podcast

NASM-CPT Podcast: CPT Success Tips from Clean Health Fitness

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
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NASM Master Instructor Rick Richey goes across the globe for this special edition of the “NASM-CPT Podcast.”
 
Rick, along with featured guest Daine McDonald, Founder of Clean Health Fitness Institute in Alexandria, Australia discusses the extensive research performed in the “Land Down Under,” in regard to performance, as well as strength and conditioning.
McDonald also outlines his near two-decade fitness background, his transition from a personal training business to owning and operating his own gyms, why continuing to build your knowledge base in the industry is vital for personal, as well as professional development as a CPT, and much more.
 

Rick Richey is a NASM-CPT, CES, PES, and Master Trainer.

 
 
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TRANSCRIPT: 

Rick Richey:
Hello, and welcome to the "NASM-CPT Podcast." My name is Rick Richey. And today joining us is a mate from down under enjoying some cool weather. While we are in our summer phase, please welcome our friend sharing some trainer success tips with us today. Mr. Daine McDonald. How you doing, sir?

Daine McDonald:

I'm really well Rick, great to be here. You are right it is we are in our winter still. But Australian winters aren't like us winters. So it's that I'm pretty, pretty blessed in that respect.

Rick Richey:

Yeah, I'm going to tell you if looking at your background, that is not where I would be at least not in New York City. It's a different look a different field for sure. Definitely. Definitely. Well, the Hey, I'm, I'm happy that you're joining us today. And it's nice to have somebody with a different perspective, I'm going to tell you some of the things that I know about Australia fitness. And one of the major things that I know is that there's really great research that comes out of Australia in regard to performance and strength and conditioning. And so that's definitely something that that is solid about some of the things coming out of Australia. And I know that you've worked with some heavy hitters, and you started as a personal trainer, and you're one of those people. And this is something I appreciate being one of those people that kind of level up and level up and level up again. And when you say what do you do, and they say, I'm a personal trainer, and you're like, I feel like you're too qualified to say that. But with that said, I want you to tell us a little bit about who you are your story. And we're going to talk about some trainer success tips from you and your company clean health fitness.

Daine McDonald:

Yeah, I mean, look, definitely the research side of things here in Australia, we're pretty blessed. Right? I mean, I think, you know, going back to the 80s, you had people like Ian King, who worked very closely with the late Charles poliquin, in SMC and, you know, working with a lot of athletes and things like that. So I think, you know, culturally for pts, is there's been a lot of opportunity here in Australia to learn from people that are very well renowned. And I think for me, you know, my journey, you know, I started as a PT back in 2002. Now, so just under 20 years ago, and, you know, back then it was the industry was very different, you know, as you would know, right? Like, you know, pts were, you know, maybe earning 3040 $50 an hour, it wasn't really an industry the way it is today, you know, like, there was a lot of group exercise, boxercise outdoor boot camps, you know, coming into the fitness industry back in that era, you know, it was not looked at as a place that you could, you know, build a long term career path. So, you know, for me, one of the points of difference that I wanted to get into, as soon as I started was to really just level myself up, educate myself, you know, and I remember back then actually looking at nasm courses and stuff like that, because you guys have been around for so long. And the first few years of my career, I spent time in college and uni, you know, doing all of the degrees and, and stuff like that. And, you know, I got into the industry, you know, quite, you know, quite aggressively, you know, like, within kind of six weeks of working in my first, you know, commercial gym full time, you know, I was doing 4050 pt sessions a week, you know, within kind of six months of kind of working in gyms, I was training other trainers, because I had other trainers coming to me, asking, you know, how I got myself into shape, or how I got my clients into shape, you know, back then I kind of would walk around it, you know, 220 pounds and sub 10% body fat, right? So, I look like I could step up on a bodybuilding stage. And I think, you know, that was one of my things early on, was that, you know, you needed to be an embodiment of your brand, you needed to be an embodiment of what you were putting out there as a health professional, which was to practice what you preach. And, you know, even though I kind of, you know, never kind of did bodybuilding shows or things like that, I would kind of use the way that I looked back then as an opening to attract clients that actually when they started speaking to me, they'd realized that I was there was some a little bit of brains inside of the abroad that we're seeing a little bit of substance behind all that muscle. Yeah. Now when you into when you went to university, did you did you study exercise science that early on? Yeah, so I started out with with, I did a department fitness Diploma in strength conditioning, and then I did a bachelor degree in exercise and sports science, and then I did an advanced department nutritional medicine, you know, so by the time it came around, 2006 2007 I was, you know, one of the few duly qualified PTs and nutritionists in the industry at I think, at the age, what was I back then I'm trying to remember now at about the age of 2526. And, you know, that really allowed me to kind of build the philosophies of which I kind of built clean health around, which was, you know, most pts back then and even today, to a certain extent, you know, a client will come in through the door, and, you know, want to just train with the train straight away. And for me back, then, you know, I wasn't doing my due diligence, if I was getting them straight into a PT session, right. So this is where the kind of philosophy of lifestyle, nutrition and training came from. And what that means was, you know, before I would even get into training clients, I'd spend a good hour assessing their lifestyle, and that went from everything from assessing their anthropometric data, to assessing their stress, their sleep, you know, their circadian rhythms, or different type of things that, you know, they were doing the other 23 hours of the day when they weren't in the gym. And, you know, back then, you know, today that might seem as like, this is what we do, but like back in 2005 2006 2007, that was quite, you know, innovative, right, like, people weren't really approaching it with that approach. And so, you know, I do that, and from that, we'd look at their nutrition we look at, you know, are they in a calorie deficit, or they're in a surplus? What is their micronutrient status? Are they you know, are they in, well, are they eating bad? From there, we would, you know, create a lifestyle and nutrition plan. And then after that, we'd actually get into the training. And so, that approach really kind of led me to be able to take someone that was, you know, maybe overweight or out of shape, you know, and, and transform the physiques in, you know, generally over about a 12 week period, you know, over a 12 week period, the average rate of fat loss, and I say fat loss, because, you know, as we know, like weight loss is, is one thing, and I think if someone is clinically obese, initially, weight loss is something to look at, because, you know, they've got an excessive amount of weight to lose. But, you know, we will generally see back then, quite to lose between 0.5 to up to one kilo a week. So that's, you know, a while, not 1.2, to about 2.4 pounds per week over that initial 12 week program.
And, you know, that's really how I built my brand and business, it was through the business of transformations. Because, you know, as you know, as being an industry yourself, like, you're only as good as your as your Client Results. And so I focused in on early on with using all of this learning that I had done, to, you know, really try and elicit transformations. And that was one thing, you know, on the subject of learning, like, even though I initially spent four or five years full time doing study, I remember about three years into it around 2007, and I was getting good results. And then Charles poliquin, the late Charles poliquin, the legendary strength coach, he came out to Australia to do a workshop and I'd been reading his stuff since I was in high school in the late 90s, through tea, muscle, tea nation, and, you know, different men's muscle magazines and things like that. You came out and I remember going to his workshop thinking like, you know, I'm pretty hot stuff, right? Like, you know, I know, my I know, my stuff. I'm at that time, I was working with a few Olympic athletes from the New South Wales to to sport. And I was like, Yeah, I know my thing. And within two hours of listening to him, I realized how much I don't know. Oh, yeah, yeah. And that was a real eye opener for me. Because, you know, to that time, I'd been kind of, you know, in the confines of my own city, Sydney, right. So Sydney, Australia, and kind of comparing myself against my domestic colleagues. And then here's this guy, that's, you know, internationally renowned, he comes out and I felt like an idiot. And, and, and I remember saying to him, like, you know, like, at the end of the first day, I'm like, I just want to say, like, I learned more today, than I probably have in my, you know, the last year of my university degree. And, you know, I'm like, you know, could I book you for a few hours just to to pick your brain, so to kind of learn from you and, you know, back then he was charging, like, I think it was about seven 800 us an hour for private, private consulting. And, you know, yes, I was, you know, doing 5060 pt sessions a week at about, you know, $7 a session, so I was earning good money, but it's still a large investment and I paid it because I wanted to learn what I wanted from this world leader, you better have your questions lined up if if you're doing it for 700 bucks. And I guess what I'm trying to say to the students in the listeners because obviously the most a lot of people listening to this right. Now personal trainers is success leaves clues, you know, my journey as a PT and building up an international education business that as you know, educated 10s of 1000s of trainers around the world, it didn't come from me being cheap when it came to my own development. Right. And so, after that workshop with him, I remember, he was talking about one of his students in the UK, who just opened up this high end performance, gym, you know, so it was like it had all of the, you know, eleiko equipment, the allowances, equipment, you know, all of this specialist equipment. And we're doing boutique transformation based programming. Business called ultimate performance. based out of the UK, it's founded by one of Charles's other students, Nick Mitchell. And I'm like, that's what I want to do. You know, by that time, like, there would be no clean health if there was no Charles poliquin. And, you know, he was the guy that really kind of showed me that there was more to the industry than what I'd experienced within my own city. And that there was actually big opportunities to, you know, if you look at the lifespan of pts, you know, here in Australia, the average, like, career rate is about 18 months. So across a lot of the education Institute's people that go and get the qualifications, the last 18 months in the industry. So you know, to be around 1520 years later, I think is a real testament to education. And just one thing I really wanted to drill home to anyone listening is like, you know, you want to have a sustainable career, following your passion, and, you know, for health and fitness helping others, it's keep learning, you know, keep learning that that is, you know, trainers ask me, like, what is the number one success tip for growing a successful business is like, learn how to get results. And let your results do the talking. Because, you know, you could do all these business courses in the world. But if you're unable to actually change the outcome of a client that has come into feeling down, they're feeling, you know, they're feeling they're feeling bad, they're out of shape. If you're unable to get them in into shape, and to help them feel better, like you're not going to retain them as a client long term, you're not going to get referrals from them. And it's going to limit the ability to grow your business over a period of time.

Rick Richey:

Again, this is awesome, man, you are definitely dropping some success bombs for our trainers here. And as you talk about being a lifelong learner, I think that that's something significant that we need to drive home for our fitness professionals that this is this is not just get your certification and and now you're good now now you know what you need to know to be a trainer, I tell people regularly, as soon as you get your certification, now you have the baseline of what you should know the very least amount of what you should know, before you're qualified to be a personal trainer. So you know, the least amount you should know for the rest of your career. Right now when you get certified. And then it's moving on beyond and past that. And, and you talk about something else too, and I think it's important to point out is that you had some direction, right? we've, we've talked multiple times about mentorship, and discussing with people, I'll be doing a lesson at the Optima conference on mentorships. And becoming a mentor. And the thing is, is that it's hard to become a mentor if you've never had one yourself. And so we see that with your experience with poliquin. And the work that he's done. And one of the things that they talked about was a great strength and conditioning coach, but he always talked about lifestyle. He always early on before anybody was talking about like, if you were a strength and conditioning coach, you did strength and conditioning and what they did outside, if you're working with athletes, it's just like, try to get the kids to go to sleep early enough, and like not drink so much and in their college careers. And it is shifted far beyond just like a band aid approach to what to do with your lifestyle outside of workout sessions.

Daine McDonald:

Well look, if you look at it today, it's kind of led to you know, that term HPL high performance lifestyle, you've got, you know, blood sugar apps, like levels, you've got the Apple Watch, you've got all this technology today, you know, back back when I was an active PT, you know, back then I wish that I had access to right because you know, you can monitor blood blood sugar, busco glucose levels over there sleep, you can monitor their sleep, you can you can look at their REM sleep, their deep sleep, all these type of cofactors you can look at their HRV you know, these are all things that I applied myself today, you know, on myself, you know, when I'm training every day, but with coaches today, you know, the technology has given them you know, such a wide array of tools that weren't at our disposal even five years ago. It's actually one one thing I want to add further on the education is that I've always said this when I've mentored people is that for the first five years, that you're in the industry as a PT, you know, you should be spending literally, in my opinion, nine, about 80 to 90, but probably 90% of your education investment into becoming a better trainer, not necessarily a better business person, all that type of stuff, learn how to write diets, and write training programs and and learn how to coach. So learn how to be able to use the power of EQ to influence motivate and inspire your clients, which is going to drive compliance, you know, because compliance is the number one factor for results, you can have the best program in the world. But if the client doesn't follow it, it doesn't mean anything. And inversely, you can have a, an OK program, but if they do every single thing on it, they're going to get results. So the first five years, I've always said, 80 90%, year six to 10, it should be more 5050. So, you know, by that time, you're really trying to, you know, like, for me five years in, I was just working out of commercial gyms as a PT, it took me 667 years to realize I want to go and open a gym, you know, and then I ended up opening three, you know, and it took me having a mentor in some direction to do that. So, you know, whilst you're going into that second stage of your career, you're still trying to keep it, you still need to keep your finger on the pulse in terms of learning about, you know, the latest literature, and what's working, what's not working, what's been debunked or not, etc. But you also want to be learning to level up yourself, when it comes to your business, how to present yourself your brand, if you hire people, what that looks like, in terms of creating structures, and all this different type of stuff, other than I'd say, if you make it to year 10. and above, you know, for me, it's it's now become 8020 80% in terms of like, you know, business marketing and sales, 20% just keeping my finger on the the literature, you know, looking at what's working, what's not working. And I'm pretty fortunate, you know, I've got a lot of, we've got a lot of strategic partners around the world. You know, Dr. Les No, and Dr. Joe Campbell, and a few others on our academic board, you know, literally working in the lab day in day out with some of the latest sports science stuff out there in the world today. So when I, when I need to know something, I just say, Hey, what's the latest research on this, and I get it. So it saves my time. I love that. It's nice for me to because I do that with people at NSF, there's so many things I don't know, and just tapping somebody on the shoulder who can direct me to somebody else that knows what Yeah, and so it's nice, just to know, people that are smarter than you. Exactly. And I think like, you know, that's that's the thing, if you can kind of use that as a framework. And I'm not saying it's foolproof, but you know, like, it's kind of a process that I've given to a lot of trainers over the years is, you know, spend your time getting good at your craft, and then over time the business will come. And with that you'll be able to you know, you know, have a have fulfillment within your career actually doing something that you love, because I think everyone generally gets into the fitness industry, because it's it's a major part of their value alignment as a human being, you know, health and well being and whether it's with themselves and others.

Rick Richey:

Let me ask you a question about change. Right. So change you were talking about being a fitness professional being a personal trainer, and then you went on into opening your own gyms, right.

Daine McDonald:

So you started with one? I'm assuming you didn't start with three. So you've, you've opened a few Haven't you as well?

Rick Richey:

Yeah, I have a fourth one coming soon. And my question to you and this is, in part for me, but a lot for other people who are thinking this to like, what was the biggest transition biggest change? When you were like, Alright, this is my personal training business. And now this is a gym business things that you need to think about things you didn't think about, and then you're kind of punched in the gut with.

Daine McDonald:

Yeah, like, you know, look, I think, as I mentioned to you offline, when, you know, we were having a pre chat pre coming on, like I'm a qualified PT, yeah, I don't have I don't have a degree in business. I don't have a degree in marketing, I don't have a degree in sales. I've just learnt that on the fly. So I think the biggest transition for me was when you are a sole trader, and you've established your business and your brand new are generally at the pinnacle of quality. So what I mean by that is you yourself are facilitating the service and because it's your brand, your jelly going to do it better than anyone else. And I found as I brought people on, I was very fortunate like my first trainers that came on to work for me were actually clients of mine. So they were other personal trainers that I would say train for a powerlifting event or a bodybuilding event or a sporting event or whatever, or they just came to me to learn. So they already had that. That co-mentor relationship with me. And I'd already downloaded a lot of my key philosophies and principles into them. So they were kind of like mini means with their own twist. So I think the biggest thing for me the biggest learning curve was standardization of quality, ie quality control over your product as a PT, and I use the term product, because at the end day, if you've got a gym, or you're a PT, you are still it's, yes, you are selling a service, but it's also a product of you. Right? So for me, it was it was learning that and then the other thing was really just learning that, you know, going from having to manage your own finances and your own timetable to managing the payroll, you know, at one point, you know, I had, you know, circa 50, staff working for me through multiple gyms, you know, I'm having to look at payroll, I'm having to look at Performance Management, I'm having to look at hiring ops directors and, and heads of departments in creating job descriptions and kind of learning all these things. In the first few years, I tried to do it all myself, because that's just my nature. And it ended up causing me some problems because I was unable to let go, and really delegate to people, as I scaled that were better than me. And a lot of that was youth an ego and and that kind of rolled into one. But that was a big learning curve for me. And it I nearly, you know, in 2015, I nearly lost everything, you know, I ended up going, Yeah, like, we ended up having to, you know, one of the businesses because by 2014, it was interesting, like, we'd opened our first gym, you know, by we opened on 150 pt sessions a week. And then four months later, we were doing 550 Oh, wow. Wow. Right. And that was in an average price point of about 120 US per session. So you do the math on that, right. And, you know, so I didn't have the systems in place to measure and scale that. And, you know, in the first two years of that, that business, we were doing about 20 plus 1000 pt sessions per annum out of out of that one gym. And so going from, you know, having myself and a few trainers working through commercial gym, to doing that volume of personal training sessions out of one business and then opening others, whilst at the same time, you know, going to starting our education business, because we've had all these requests, from trainers around the world on how we were getting these results. It was a really steep learning curve. 

Rick Richey:
So you know, in that, too, I'm interested in now there's another transition in life and in business on your end, right. So you went from being a trainer to opening your own facilities. And then you went from opening on your own facilities, to opening a consulting and an education institute on basically how to do it. So what Yeah, what led to that? And then how did that become a business for you?

Daine McDonald:
It kind of, you know, as we were, because like by 2012 2013, you know, we were having, like whether it was Ben pakulski Mark showers, Dr. Rakowski, mula Sacha Charles Poliquin. You know, Phil Looney, like lots of Layne Norton, lots of big industry notables from around the world. We're coming out to Australia, that we're doing workshops at our center as kind of the central point here in Australia. And so we were getting a lot of international PR and press. By that time, you know, we'd been publicized in the newspapers. We were doing, you know, articles in the Daily Telegraph, GQ Magazine, and different stuff like that. So we were getting a lot of PR and press. And obviously, with that came the fact that you know, over time, about 20% of our sessions that we were doing out of our PT business, were actually other personal trainers, wanting to go through the process themselves to learn how we did it. And we were getting a lot of them, they'd come up to myself, or our head of research and development, Stephen inf, or Ron drew was back then and a few of our senior guys on like, Hey, we want to internship, like, we want to do mentor ships. And so what I did was I took, I took out an internal staff development manual that I'd created back in 2010. And I'd created that for
basically any cleanup any trainer that we would hire. Because back then we obviously weren't in education institute, I would have to reprogram or kind of some of the learnings that they had learned out in the industry, to to bring them to our level of knowledge. You know, when you think about it, like myself and some of our key educators back then and spent hundreds of 1000s of dollars each on our education. It was quite a gap between kind of that. And then someone who just gotten qualified as a personal trainer, and had worked for the industry for a year. And so that that manual that I created was to bridge that gap. And I realized that it would work so well with our trainers, like, Why Why not just start teaching this to, to people outside, teach them the secrets of what we were doing in our real world of arbitrary IE gym. And so in 2012, that started and then by 2014, we actually had a gym chain from interstate in Melbourne contract myself, and one of my head educators to go down there for the week to do a spend a whole week with the entire staff educating. And so that was the first, I guess, interstate job that we got, and it's a big contract, it was a $30,000 contract back then. And I remember going down there and teaching the seven straight days of teaching, but like, it wasn't work, it didn't feel like work. Right? Because it's, you know, as you probably notice, I can talk. So, you know, it was, it was, it was just a great experience. And I'm like, you know what, like, I want to I want to take this international, and I end up speaking Charles poliquin at a time, you know, and so the student speaking to the Sensei, and two months later, the student was teaching with a sensei in Montreal. You know, so we'd partnered up, he was doing his three day training, then we were doing our two days on nutrition. And that was our first international gig. And I remember on the plane back from Montreal, you know, I was on this high, right. And, you know, we had 40 4050 students in our workshop over there in Laval. And I remember coming back saying, you know, in 2015, like, I really want to take this out there and actually, on the plane, I am a big, big believer in in, what you put out and manifest will come back to you, at some point, you know, it might come back is slightly different than what you put out.
And so I wrote out our schedule for the 2015, you know, we were going to do workshops in Hong Kong, the United States and Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, the UK, by the end of 2015, we had taught 42 workshops around the world and educated about 4000 personal trainers, I'd spent, I'd say about six or nine months on the road educating and lecturing with two of our key staff members. But that's that's pretty much how it started. And so you know, I spent 2015, overseas pretty much whilst I left my operations team to kind of manage the gym. By that time we opened a second one. And we're in the process of opening a third one with an institute attached to it, that was going to be our company headquarters, which is 1000 square metre site. So that's about 10,000 square foot. I think during the the conversion, and yeah, like that's, that's kind of where the education started. And, you know, by the end of 2015, you know, I'd gotten into this position where the education business had gone really well. And the new site that we'd set up had gone really well. But two of the the old, gym businesses weren't doing too well. And we're in quite a lot of debt. So I had to come in and kind of really restructure how we were doing things. And that was when I actually made the conscious decision, then that to take my company to the next level, I had to make a choice. And that choice was, am I going to continue to be the founder and head coach? Or am I going to be the founder and CEO. And I realized at that point, like, Sure, I can hire in someone externally as a CEO to manage the business. But the reality is like, I know my business better than anyone. Sure. There's a lot of business skills that I don't know right now, but I'm just going to teach myself. And so that's what I did. And, you know, a year later, we turned it around, I'd sold I ended up selling off one of those gyms for a seven figure amount to an offshore business, we consolidate the three sites into one. And, you know, we basically that that chatswood site remained open until COVID. Last year, it still had in it by by February of 2020. We were about a year into going online with our with our programs, we're still still doing some live event workshops. And we still had a PT business within that site doing about 250 300 sessions a week. But when COVID hit, you know, a kind of
so I was in Asia when COVID broke out, right? So I was in Hong Kong in January of 2019. 2020 and we were on a cruise and we were going from like Hong Kong to Vietnam, this is my family. And then from Vietnam to, you know, like, Thailand, and I remember getting off each. And you know, back then we didn't know what COVID was right. And I remember getting off at each port, and they would have like, the sensors to scan you. And I was like, This is not good. Like this is this is like, you know, some sort of movie I living in right now. And I remember coming back to Australia, in Australia, you know, we thought we were immune, right. And because of our distance, and I remember saying to my, my leadership team, Tom, like, this is not going to like, this is going to come here, and we're going to get locked out. And this is in February of 2020. And they were looking at me, they're like, dang, it's not going to build them. Look, I trust my gut. And that's another business thing, like, trust your intuition, human beings, we were given gut feelings for a reason, when you learn to feel into it, it can be quite a powerful weapon. And so I made a decision actually to basically shut down my gym, which was still a seven figure earning business, and to shut down our site, and then three weeks later, we got locked down, and we never opened up ever again, since. So, we've been 100%, we've been 100% remote working since then, hence why I'm speaking to you more from my home office right now. And it was one of the To be honest, it was one of the best business decisions I've ever made. And embrace it embrace change, you know, I embrace change, I embrace the fact that we were about a year into our online journey. And that we really just had to go like all in and, you know, look going all in, you know, the last 12 months, we've we've educated about 15,000 trainers online, around the world, so and with about 160, with about 60% of them being outside of Australia. So you know, it's been a very, my journey with clean health has been a very interesting one, I kind of liken it into four phases, we've got the PT phase, the gym phase, the education workshop phase, and now the the the edtech online phase, which is where we are where we'll stay.

Rick Richey:
You say that now you say that now, but there might be more options down the road phases. 567.

Daine McDonald:

True, the true like, you know, look, you know, you know, fate, phase five, I think for me, at some point in the future will be you know, maybe some sort of an exit or career, you know, something like that in the future. But for now, we're doing good things, you know, got a lot of interesting stuff in the pipeline, and in particularly, you know, the partnership that performed with NASA, and that we've just literally launched here in Australia over the last month. You know, it's something that we're really excited about kind of, you know, helping to bring you guys to the Australian market, because, you know, as I mentioned, I think at the beginning, you know, NASM is a is a is a company in business that I looked at and was, you know, looking at the education and learning from, you know, 1520 years ago, at the beginning of my PT journey, so to be partnered up with you guys now and try to be on a podcast with you guys. Now. You know, there's always that, like, I always try to remain grateful for the small things and have like this alive because it's like, you know, pinch myself like, it's like, wow, like, what a journey.

Rick Richey:

That's awesome. Ladies and gentlemen, we're talking to Dan McDonald. He's joining us talking about trainer success. And he's talking about making choices. And some of those choices involve change. And some of that change is based on strong foundations. But it doesn't mean you're going in the most comfortable direction, you're going in a direction based off the foundation that you can handle, and you can make changes with. Daine, have a few questions for you. One is this when when you're working with your own program, right, so with your programming, and then you invite people in? So let's say poliquin comes in. And Dr. Norton comes in, you have these people? And and I guess now NSM, right. So you have a program that you're working with them, you have people coming in from outside with maybe different or additional content, a different perspective on things. How do you use that with your business and make that make that jive?

Daine McDonald:

Well, yeah, that's a super good point. You know, like, I'm a big believer in that you attract people who have a similar mindset towards you, and around you, right? So, if I look at any of our strategic partners, whether it's, you know, NASM or NASM, as we, as I tend to call them or I think in the UK as well, you know, lane bill Subash an aura, you know, there's been different people that we've worked with over the years. There's a lot of philosophical alignment Firstly, in regards to the mission, right. So, so what is the mission you know, what is clean, healthy What is NASM? What is lined on what are all these different individuals trying to do, and really, if you step back and look at it is we are all trying to raise the level of education and overall professionalism for the fitness industry around the world. Right. So we're trying to take a trainer that, you know, might have a limited knowledge and skill set, increase that knowledge and skill set, so they're empowered to actually make change and have a sustainable career, doing what they love. So that's the first prerequisite because, you know, like, if you don't have that philosophical alignment, you know, the, it's just not there. And the second one is obviously, having that mutual respect. You know, I'll give you an example with les Norton. You know, I've known Layne for just about 2012, nearly a decade now. And, you know, for anyone that's followed him on social, you know, he's got a million plus followers across his Instagram and Facebook, cats and whatnot, you know, he's, he's been one of the biggest proponents of the, you know, if it fits in your macros, movement, and all that type of stuff over the last decade. And so initially, when we met, you know, him, and I had very different philosophical approaches to nutrition, you know, he was all about basically set your calories and eat what you want, you know, not, not necessarily so much like that. But like, that was, that was a bit, you know, the the overarching kind of philosophy maybe 10 years ago. Whereas for, for, for me, and what we were doing at clean health, it was very strict, it was, you know, we would kind of, you know, set the calories, set the macros, set the meal timing, like, we were very detailed, and that was probably because, as well, the type of clients that we were working with, were coming to us for a very serious result. And so when we, when we first met, like, our ideologies clashed, and I remember saying to him, you know, what, like, Look, you're obviously great at what you do, we obviously get good results, too. Why don't you come out to our gym, when you're out in Australia next time, and have a workout and kind of see what we're doing. And so he did, he came out to the gym, to his credit, and I remember, he walked in, and, you know, you know, back in those days, like, as I said, you know, we would have a lot of serious athletes, as well as general population clients in our gym. And, yeah, there's people squatting, 440 pounds, deadlifting, 650 kilos, 650 pounds, 700 pounds, and, you know, people walking around like that, they could step up on stage and stuff like that. And remember, he walked in during kind of one of these peak periods, and he walked around. And I sent him a letter saying, so does it look like people who don't know what they're doing? And he's like, he's like, no, clearly, you guys know what you're doing. And I'm like, I'm like, exactly. So like, we just have a different opinion on things different, a slightly different variation of how we're trying to achieve the same goal. And I think that's kind of the way I look at some of the strategic partners is we're all philosophically aligned, we all, you know, we're all working towards the same outcome to help people and to get better results. But we're all just doing it slightly different. And that's okay, you know, like, you have to be comfortable within your own skin. And for me, I've always been very good at attracting people, you know, the the best and the brightest out there around around me. And I'm kind of like the intermediary can say, Hey, you know, what, like, Guys, you know, settle down here and do that. And I think I get the respect from the PT side of the industry. Because, you know, I did over 20,000 pt sessions, myself, as a personal trainer. You know, I've been inactive as a PT, since 2017. But I've walked in the shoes of a lot of these individual partners. And then obviously, with, you know, in ASM, we've been able to build our business up to a point where we're able to collaborate with you guys and provide, you know, mutual value. And I think that's another big one, too, is, with any partnerships that you have, it needs to be a mutual exchange. It can't be one sided, even if one of the partners is, you know, obviously bigger, we still need to be able to, you know, bring positivity to the relationship and complementing each other in different ways. And I think, you know, obviously, with what we're doing without partners overall, and what we've started to do within ASM, I can really see that happening. And like I said, we're super excited about that, you know, as you're talking about that in the differences, it reminds me of a conference I'd gone two years ago, and this was early to mid 2000s. And friends and there was Mike Clark on and it was a panel, Mike Clark. Okay. Tom Purvis one Carlos Santana. I mean, I can't remember the other guys but it was all people that you're like, those guys don't agree with each other. Right? Like they, they they're all on the same thing. And you know, the moderators probably, like aren't going to pit somebody against each other. And remember the question got asked about it. The differences we had asked about the differences and it was one
Carlos Santana, who said I think we probably agree on 95% of everything, but people like to focus on the 5% we differ on. And and, and that's, I think that's a great way to look at it. Like we're all out here trying to do the same thing. And it's create successful fitness related performance related outcomes for our clients, what's best for them, and there's perspective. And some people's everybody's perspective is shaped by their life, right, from their experiences and their education, and their clients and their athletes that they work with. So, so everything is molded, through your experience and through your education. And it's not that different. But there are differences, and it's okay, those differences are okay. And I think that it's valuable to look at, where people are in seeing more what aligns and looking at the outcomes that we can provide for people, instead of arguing over because it happens in the industry so much over my newsha. And over non agree, it's just it's too much out there. And, you know, there's, I also feel like this day and age, people are just looking to argue, and they can sit behind a keyboard and do it without any consequence. And that's why the the cages get rattled so much. And that's, I mean, that's, you know, one piece of advice, you know, that I give trainers, you know, today is like, you know, if I go back, if I could, you know, tell myself one thing, you know, 1015 years ago, it's not to care what other people think. Yeah. You know, like, and I think human beings get so like, Oh, they said that, or she said that he said that or whatever. It's like just just focus on, the more you focus on, on you and doing you becoming the best version of you that you can be. And it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. And I think what you said before was spot on, like the, when you peel it back with all of these different experts, everyone's trying to do the same thing. We're all just doing it in a slightly different way. You know, so I think, you know, that's one thing that I've learned with having all of these different partnerships, and a lot of people have always said, like, Dane, how do you juggle all these big egos? It's like, Well, you know, I guess I've got a little bit of an ego myself, right. But but but at the end, by the end of day, it's just learning to understand people and that it's okay to have a different point of view. And just because somebody has a different point of view, it doesn't mean that you need to get reactive to that, you know, as you said, people are shaped by the experiences they've had, you know, the days, weeks, months and years before meeting you. 

Rick Richey:
So yeah, yeah, I love that. You said that it reminds me of a story I met, I met a guy at my wedding, a friend of my wife's, and he was such a cool guy. Like I just met him, I was like, This guy, it reminded me of Lenny Kravitz, like everything about him was awesome. And he, Jen, Jennifer, my wife told this story about somebody that was talking about him saying something about him, and they felt the need to go and let this guy know. And they told him, and he just looked at him. And he said, their opinion of me is none of my business. And I thought, I wish I was that cool. Like, that's something that stuck with me for so long that somebody else's opinion of me is none of my business. If I'm doing the man, I am focusing on my purpose, and my path, the direction I need to take that helps me and my family and my clients get the outcomes that they're looking to get, then everybody else doesn't. And you know, like, I think having that philosophy, like, you know, if I'd, you know, for example, if in 2015, you know, when when I ran into some business difficulties, had I cared about what people were saying about me, I wouldn't have had the resilience to turn it around, rebuild it, and then, you know, make a set make a seven figure profit from it. Right. 

Daine McDonald:
Right. So it's, it's having that kind of perseverance as well. I think it's, it's a key thing, like, you know, the fitness industry, I think, when you've been around as long as you and I have been like, it's been through so many different changes. You know, I think personal trainers today, you know, with organizations like NSM, what we're doing stuff like that, there are so many opportunities to learn from people that have made all the mistakes. You don't need to make. You know, I always try and say like, when a trainer says, Hey, what's the benefit of learning from you guys? I'm like, well, you'll learn how to not make mistakes. Right? You know, because we've made them for you. So do this and it will show you how not to make the mistakes. 

Rick Richey:
Yeah, I can't think of anything better than from learning from other people's mistakes. So I think that's that's a solid outlook. Any other
other things that you want to address with the partnership between you and NASM on there, it sounds pretty exciting. So just want to find out what's going on.

Daine McDonald:

Yeah, it looks. So obviously, it's something that we've been working on behind the scenes with you guys over the last several months, and we launched it last month. So basically, you know, what we've done is we've combined, we've combined some of our key core products with some of your guys key core products to create an amalgamated international personal trainer specialist program. So basically, what this is, is for somebody that wants to get into the fitness industry, they can do this program here in Australia, but allows them to be duly qualified and registered both in North America and Australia, as well. So it's obviously, as you know, like a lot of the time the search don't marry up in the countries and things like that. So we've amalgamated this together to kind of, you know, have a bit of bilateral relationships between the governing bodies, but also it integrates the nutrition. So it obviously has the the CNC program, integrated into it the CPT with some of our stuff. So it really kind of, you know, we believe gives like trainers, the very best chance to kind of start their career off on the right foot.

Rick Richey:
And, you know, learn not just about training, but nutrition as well, because you know, that and when we say nutrition, we're obviously talking lifestyle as well, because that's Yeah, that's the other 23 hours a day when you're not in the gym. And, you know, if we go back to kind of my story with how we found a clean elephant was really about focusing on the other 23 hours of the day.

Daine McDonald:
So that's kind of been the key core focus of what we're doing. We've obviously also brought in some of the other NASM products into the Australian market. So like the stretching and flexibility? COACH course. I mean, we think that's quite an important one. It's not something that we do. So you spoke previously about, you know, synergistically working together things that, that you might do, and other partners might not do. So, you know, there are certain things that NASM does that we're not specialists in, and obviously, you know, having myself and our IP and education teams like kind of going through the course content, like you know, we don't put our hands to anything that isn't the best of the best. You know, we've spoken about some of the, the industry Titans that we've worked with over the last two decades, you know, so we've brought that in the virtual coach as well, we think that's a real big one. Right now in the Australian market, like, unfortunately, half of Australia right now is in lockdown, we're under some of the tightest restrictions in the world, when it comes to kind of this, this whole pandemic side of things. So a lot of pts are having to shift their business online or go into more of a hybrid model. So we're utilizing that and even actually, as well, the MMA certification that you guys are here. You know, there's a big, you know, match to Nathan Piland. From NASM. Yeah, is like, a night. Yeah, so there's a big kind of interest on that in the Australian kind of market as well, because MMA is quite a big thing here. So, look, we're obviously, slowly but surely, integrating some of the NSM offerings into our catalogue of stuff that we do here in Australia, and really kind of filling some of those gaps that we that we don't cover and have the expertise in. Because, again, you know, we talk about expertise. You know, our expertise is very much in kind of, you know, fat loss transformations, you know, building muscle, athletic performance, nutrition, stuff like that. But some of those other specialty things are not things that we've worked with. So, you know, that's where we feel the real partnership can complement each other, quite strongly here in the Australian market. I have to say, it sounds like NSM has found a quality partner down in Australia.

Rick Richey:

So David, McCarran, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us and to share a little bit about your story. And, you know, like, you're just, here's what I like, and this is, this is why the conversational podcasts are so nice, where it's not just an interview, right? That you can just kind of talk it out and and hear somebody explain from expertise, from experience from education, what life has been like, and the journey, but here's what it is. It's the perspective of that journey.

Daine McDonald:

And we see a lot of times failures and we see successes and those are valuable. Both failures and successes are both valuable, and being wildly few of fearful of failures. And trust me, I'm fearful of them. I don't want them I'm aiming towards success. But what are what are the changes in directions that you're taking, and there are people out there that want bigger, they want better, they want more, they have aspirations, they have dreams, and then they have fears that are blocking the way things that are stopping them. Doing it and and i think that some fears are rational and some some fears need to be looked in the eye and, and walked back. Look, I have a quote on this that I'll leave our listeners with is it's quite simple. Failing to fail is failing.

Rick Richey:
Right? So, you know, we talk about success, we talk about wanting to expand our career and, and ourself, it's like, sometimes you just got to give it a go. And you know, it's okay. Like, failure can provide you with some of the best life lessons that you can ever hope for, you know, sometimes getting your back put into a corner and having to dig your way out. Like it, that's where you build resilience, strength and character.

Daine McDonald:

And, you know, for me, you know, the failures that I've had have led me to kind of have this resolve now within my career and self that is, you know, pretty unshakable. Because I've had the highs, I've had the lows. And now I just appreciate, you know, I appreciate the Grateful for the small things. And I think that's another important thing, too, is just, just be grateful. Like it's, it's your career as a PT, and in life, it's a step by step process. We all want to conquer the world and do x y Zed, but it's uh, you know, sometimes it doesn't happen in a day or a week or a month, or even a year, it takes years. So just accept that, you know, enjoy that and be grateful for it, and create a strong foundation. And I think that's, that's really what it comes down to, like, create a strong foundation, and then you're less concerned about the dangers of building on top of that.

Rick Richey:

So Daine McDonald, thank you so much for taking time to be with us. If there is a way that you can direct people through to your social media to your website, if they could reach out via email, what are some of the best ways that they can contact you?

Daine McDonald:

Yeah, look, simplest thing is, our website is clean health.edu.au you can follow us on Instagram, at at clean health fitness Institute. And then my personal one on Instagram is just at Dane McDonald. They're probably the three main things in Hey, look, if you've listened to the show, and love what you heard, heard, feel free to send me a message I always take the time to respond to my DM'S and kind of give feedback and insight to trainers because, you know, I was wanting issues myself. So we're here to help.

Rick Richey:

For sure. Thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for sticking around to the end of if you have questions for me, you can reach out to me on Instagram at dr dot Rick Richey or you can email me at Rick dot richey@nasm.org This has been the NASM CPT Podcast.

The Author

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

Since 1987 the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the global leader in delivering evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations to health and fitness professionals. Our products and services are scientifically and clinically proven. They are revered and utilized by leading brands and programs around the world and have launched thousands of successful careers.