NASM CPT Podcast

NASM-CPT Podcast: Integrating Wellness into Fitness Training

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
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In this episode, host Rick Richey is joined by Rich Fahmy, NASM Content Development and Production Manager, to explore a myriad of different topics related to the wellness platform and the fitness industry.
The two discuss the distinct differences between a personal trainer and a wellness professional, the importance of broadening and building on the little successes, how instructors can become better coaches, as compared to trainers, and many more useful tips to take your career to the next level.
 

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 Richie. And I want to welcome all y'all to this podcast and an opportunity to meet one of my favorite people at an AFM. So this is going to be a meeting with a friend of mine named Rich Fahmy. And Rich has been working with NSM for quite some time now. And I should know because I was there early on helping on him and bring him on. So with that said, rich, how you doing?

Rich Fahmy:
Hey, Rick, good to be here, man. Thank you for having me. Yes, you were one of my early mentors as a master instructor. So thank you for that. It was great,

Rick Richey:
It was great, man. Thank you. I appreciate it. And I enjoyed working with you through the years. And you've become very, very helpful to me as I've worked on several projects in the last, I don't know, six months or longer. So I want to say thank you for all the support. And the you know what, yeah, I was talking to Kyle and several other guys. I'm working on another project. And they were just they were talking about some of the challenges of writing out chapters in textbooks and things and I said, you know, if worst comes to worst, and I just need somebody to help me through it. Like mentally I'll call rich. Everybody on the call goes, Yeah, yeah, you should call. He always makes me feel better.

Rich Fahmy:
That's funny. Yeah. I don't know what it is about calming down authors or something, but you'll do great job. So I don't know, people are calling. I don't know how I feel about this chapter. Like, well, let's discuss let's talk. Let's talk through it. Yeah, that's fine. That's awesome.

Rick Richey 1:52
What would the fact of the matter is you get to be introduced to a lot of concepts and content, and read it and get it from authors long before anybody else gets that information. So in some ways, I'm really jealous of you because you're getting the newest information and research out there.

Rich Fahmy:
Yeah, I mean, I, you know, I always pinch myself in a way cuz I'm basically I get to be a professional nerd. You know, and, and a lot of the content we get to I, you know, some people may be disappointed to find out, I take a lot of it out. Because, because sometimes the depth is too great. And I might save it for a continuing ed course, or something that's a little bit of a deeper dive on a topic. But yeah, I get access to all these experts. And it's really cool. It's really, you know, if you're if you're a geek, then it's it's a cool gig. I can't complain.

Rick Richey:
That's one of the things I never got from you, Rich, you have gone too deep. You know, too much. We're gonna look back. I'm like, No, no, no, I kept it quite superficial.

Rich Fahmy:
Your depth is appropriate. Actually. I do a lot of slashing and burning through chapters one after the author's done. So yeah, yeah. 

Rick Richey 3:01
Well, that's a good process. Well, one of the things I wanted to bring you on today, actually, let me just address this real quick. I see a guitar in the background. How long is that?

Rich Fahmy:
Oh, you know, it's I've been playing since I was in high school, but I can call it instead of actually, you know, progressing for 20 years, or 25 years. It's more of like one year repeated 25 times. So it's, I'm a noodler. So my goal is to be just enough, you don't want you don't see as a closet full of other guitar cases. So my goal is to be just good enough to justify making multiple guitar purchases and my wife not rolling her eyes too much, although I think we're past that stage.

Rick Richey:
Gotcha. Yeah, well, I've heard it's addictive. Once once you start playing an instrument and just so you know, recently, I picked up this little guy. Nice. Uh huh. My wife got us an ukulele for the holidays last year and I really was into it for a while. And you know, it was amazing starting out I'm like, that's impossible, like the way the fingers move it's in but this is a great conversation we could go into completely unlike motor learning to be on totally, like fingers just don't move the way you want them to move. And then one day they go there, they just it works. So anyway, I love playing instruments. I think it's good for my my brain and good for a little motor learning. But with that being said, I'm going to move us into the topic really I want to discuss today. And for those of you here with us just joining us, this is Rich Fahmy and I want to talk about wellness because early on this year, I was speaking with somebody and they were talking to fitness professionals, and many of themselves considered themselves or fancied themselves a wellness professional. And so I kind of want to get an idea from you. What is the difference because I would not care categorize a personal trainer in with a wellness professional, necessarily. And so what what is wellness? And kind of talk us through the difference between somebody that can work with people through wellness and somebody that works with people for fitness? 

Rich Fahmy:
Sure, um, you know, I think what a lot of people understand about fitness is is that, will it impact someone's wellness greatly? And absolutely, it will. Right? So you know, that that is, but to say you're a wellness professional, might be a little different. So, you know, some common things I think, are helpful to get some definitions around it. So if we, you know, for me, for the longest time to I would say I'm a health and fitness professional, right, especially starting as a trainer, and, you know, there's really, there's a lot of overlap. But if we were to define each one health could be thought of as looking at specific parameters, right, like your cholesterol, your blood pressure, you know, bodyweight triglycerides, you know, blood markers, all these different things, sort of these, these things a doctor's office would look at to assess your health, right, if we're looking at fitness, and that's what we all know and love, you're, you're trying to elicit a, you know, a specific adaptation from that client's kinetic chain, right? Whether it's strength, power, speed, agility, stability, mobility, so on wellness is tricky, because it's, it's, it's very much every time you talk about it, you have to define what you mean by it. So it's, it's a little bit tough sometimes to categorize mamas, but if we put it into a large category, it's really all these sort of mental, physical, emotional things that that contribute to your overall well being. And that and that sounds like a whole lot of a circular definition. But that's, you kind of have to keep it that broad, I think when you when you narrow it down, is when you get to the scope of the individual, right? Because if someone's a there's all kinds of coaches, right? If you're if you're a relationship coach, well, that that will factor into your well being right how you relate to other people, because that's really important, especially if you have loved ones in particular you're trying to relate to and be there for and support is your financial wellness, right? Do you have a financial advisor, who who guides you through investment or you know, reducing debt or whatever it would be. So, you know, all these things do factor and wellness is extremely broad. So, while a fitness trainer or a fitness professional, whether it's a group, exercise instructor, a personal trainer, will impact someone's someone's wellness and you know, movement in particular actually does have a pretty wide ranging set of effects on wellness. They're not necessarily a wellness professional, even though they contribute to wellness greatly.

Rick Richey:
It's true, there's, there's something called the wellness wheel, that that's out there in the wellness world. And it talks about, as you mentioned, there's spiritual wellness, there's emotional wellness, social wellness, financial wellness, relationships, and then then there's physical wellness. And it's interesting because the physical wellness is one series of spokes in that wheel. And I do believe that they all contribute and support each other, right. And we know that that physical wellness can really help with social wellness it has, it has a factor that goes along with it. You know whether or not you're more physically fit, I'm not sure whether or not that helps you make more money, but you know, and all the other things that go along with it. But there are feeder systems and I think there's some behaviors and disciplines and practices, that when you get good at doing that and one aspect of your life, then you can start kind of shifting and focusing on how you may be able to apply that and other aspects of your life. And there's a researcher by the name of Barbara Fredrickson that talks about broadening and building so doing little things and becoming successful at the little things and, and broadening that building upon that and someday referred to as an upward spiral. And I think that's, that's a valuable concept as we start to get into understanding wellness and fitness as a component of wellness versus than being synonymous.

Rich Fahmy:
Yes, very true. I mean, yeah, and the neat thing about the concept of an upward spiral, as you mentioned is that's pretty integral, I think, to if you're going to go into let's say wellness coaching, or you're looking at helping a client beyond, you know, designing workouts and understanding what they need from a training standpoint, is is the upward spiral can really start anywhere. And then it will start having an impact on other areas of that person's wellness. So, you know, you're all these things, you hear all these anecdotal these stories all the time of people go, Well, you know, I just I got on a fitness program and I started working out more and, you know, all of a sudden I wanted to eat better, because, you know, I wanted to support what I was doing working out. And then I noticed I was in a better mood, and I was sleeping better. And I was you know, less irritable, at work or at home, you know. So it's, but what it started with is maybe you started taking a walk twice that week. And so the upward spiral can really just take a very small change, very small thing, and then it starts to really, you know, upward spiral, right, so it does start affecting other areas in the life in your life, and in greater capacities each time.

Rick Richey:
You know, it's interesting, a friend of mine, from years ago, had come up from Atlanta to visit me in New York City. And when I knew her back, then she weighed about 300 pounds. And when she came up, and I saw her, she had lost about half that weight. And I talked to her about it, obviously, me as a fitness professional, I was like, I need to know what was going on in your life that you made these big changes. And she she said, the thing that you may hear a lot that you think people don't actually do or pay attention to, which is she started walking more, she took the stairs for several floors, instead of the escalator, she started increasing just physical activity, but at no point did she start did was she working out? Alright, she was just more physically active, moving more throughout the day, what we refer to as neat non exercise activity thermogenesis and, and I talked about this in some of the things that I've written, which is, sometimes people don't do those things, because they seem too simple, right? And if it seems too simple to do, then it's not enough to actually accomplish your end goal, which might be the weight loss or whatever it is. So instead of doing the small simple things, then they just do nothing.

Rich Fahmy:
Very true. I mean, you know, and it's kind of silly, because it's a cliche, right? Oh, it all adds up. But it really does. Really, it really does. It's the little stuff. You know, I went to a warehouse store yesterday, you know, buying in bulk for the week. And I did I parked on sort of the other side of the building where the tire center was, and, you know, way further down. And it's silly, because, you know, it's it's hot in Arizona. You know, and we're in monsoon so it's, it's actually more humid, then people realize sometimes. But, you know, I did it because I got extra steps. And you know, it's it's but it's little stuff. It's really as little stuff. And I tried not to do the whole, you know, how many things can i pile up? When I'm trying to come into the house? Right? I actually intentionally took smaller loads. And because of that, like my wife thought I was nuts. But but one egg at a time, Richie. Yeah, I mean, you know, it's a little extreme. I, you know, I unpack each bottle from every little thing and brought it in one, you know, doing lateral shuffles, sometimes a skips and other time, you know, it's a lot. It's a lot, but you know, it helps. But it really, really does. It really does add up, it really, really does. And it's not to be underestimated.

Rick Richey:
Well, talk to me about then, because we are in one essence instance, we're really talking about training. And another instance, we're talking about coaching. So training is really almost the you need to be present for training to take place, it's taking somebody through something and repeating it and getting better at it watching that growth. Having coaching is a little bit different. Where you're not necessarily there and you're not training, you know, training can be a part of coaching. But there's a difference. What is it? What is that difference? And then how can we start getting better at coaching versus training?

Rich Fahmy:
That's a really good question. I think if you had to boil it down, if I wanted to come up with one nugget and right as a takeaway, is, you're not in charge of what success looks like. So So as a trainer, we have ideas, right? We have measures, we do assessments, you know, before, during, after, or you know, ongoing, whether that's that's you're trying to do a sub max vo to write some sort of cardio assessment or even your overhead squat, one rep max, where we have all these things that we can do, or a T drill, for example. So there's all these things that we're assessing, and we and we use those measurements and the continued improvement to define success. And so that that tends to create more of a I sort of know what success looks like for you. Because I'm, I'm, I'm the expert. I'm doing these measurement measurements, and that's what it is and, and that's all valid and that's all good when we're looking at structured programs over time and you're trying to create change over time. You know, you want to make sure you're progressing properly. And you do want to assess Are you eliciting the adaptations you think you're listening through your training But if we're going to coaching you really what success looks like has nothing to do with you, as, as a professional, it's really up for the client to tell you what that looks like, especially in a wellness scenario, right? You're, you're there to help them facilitate change. But you have to the the understanding, or the perspective you have, as the clients are experts in themselves. So that's that whole client centric model that we're looking at is, is when you and when you put the clients at the center of all that, right, you hear this kind of cliche, client centric focus, that when you when you're able to do that, and show you're just there to guide them, that they will reveal what's most important to them over time. So you know, sometimes clients have a hard time articulating Why don't really know what I want, I don't know what success looks like. But But over time, as you build trust, and rapport, and you communicate effectively, they're going to be more vulnerable, as a client, and by vulnerable, I mean, they're willing to give you the the stuff that, that if you knew this about them, you could use it against them, right, that's kind of how I define vulnerability, is I'm giving you things that, that you could use, I'm giving you my buttons, right, when I'm vulnerable, and I'm trusting you to take care of those and to make a space for those and, and, and, and use that information to guide me, but you're not telling me what success looks like, really, that's up for me to decide.

Rick Richey:
Interesting. So I'm going to talk about that a little bit more, because I think we've all heard of results focused training. And you know, that's what, that's why people are coming to us, they're coming to us for results. But now you're talking about the benefits of client focused coaching. And maybe this is part of it, where, you know, I used to talk about being a trainer and getting frustrated by hearing a trainer, another trainer, say, Hey, what do you want to do today when somebody walked in, and in my mind, and maybe that was true, they just didn't have a program set up for it. Now, I'm a lot less judgmental of it, because I think that having the client contribute to their own workout is actually beneficial to the relationship of that client with exercise. And so having them be a participant, what are some of the other benefits of this client focused? coaching? And we just explained it a little bit about some of the significance that go along with that.

Rich Fahmy:
Sure. Well, you know, if you put the client in charge of what what success looks like for them, there's a lot more of that immediate ownership. In one sense to there's there's ownership to the point of bandstand, that if they don't achieve whatever success looks like, right? That it is it is it is up to them. So there's kind of a built in, you know, I hate to use the word accountability, because I think accountability is misconstrued. And kind of misuse. I think accountability gets translated as did you do what you were supposed to do last time that I said we were supposed to do last time we met. So compliance compliance, right, you hear that client compliance, client adherence, that if you look at those terms, just in general, those can be those can lead you down this slippery slope if I'm a babysitter, right, as I told you, we use you to be successful. So did you do it last time, right? When your response to that when they come in and go, I just I just couldn't get it done is kind of everything. So not to overstate it, it's it's really important to your relationship, right? Because how you react when they just didn't get something done. makes a big difference. So when when it's when it's client centered, and they've decided, you know, for me to be well or feel well, these the things I think need to start happening in my life. That that creates a sense of ownership. I think one important thing if we're talking about accountability to you know, and another benefit to being client centered is, is you're not holding clients accountable. As a coach, you're you're and I heard this I can't take credit for this. I heard this from from someone who actually mentors, coaches, and he said she doesn't hold clients accountable. She holds them capable enable. Oh, I love that. Right. So it's not accountability. It's not on babysitting. Right. It's, it's I know you're capable. I know you're able, let's talk through it. Nice, right. So just because you don't get it from this last, you know, let's say I'd met you last Monday. And you come in today, he didn't do it. I mean, that's not the end of the world, right?

Rick Richey:
It's not anything to is if you're focusing on the positive components, or that when somebody comes in, they said I, you know, I wasn't able to get everything that that I was supposed to get done. I put this on myself and I wasn't able to get it done. And then following up with what did you get done and what fell in place that allows you to get that much done and focusing on because the moment they say what they didn't get done, they give all the reasons why they couldn't. When you focus on what they did accomplish, then they give you the reasons why they did accomplish. And that's what we need to coach. That's what we need to be there for their their abilities to not turning the conversation on to why they could not. Hmm.

Rich Fahmy:
Yeah, I mean, you know, and you can celebrate small wins. Right. And that's not to say that, you know, as trainers, we should just be taken this sort of hands off approach. Did you do or do you not? Oh, who cares? Okay, keep let's move on to our next exercise, right. It's really about digging in and going. Okay, so you didn't get the, you know, we discussed, let's say, you know, working on your sleep hygiene, right, and, and starting to, you know, dim the lights an hour before bed, turning screens off, you know, whatever these different things might be. And, and let's say you just you said he couldn't do it, you just you didn't get enough, you know, an uptick in sleep quantity. You know, you're doing six hours a night, and you're trying to get to eight. And you know what, but you're able to get to bed 30 minutes sooner, and you did fall asleep in enough time where you got six and a half hours asleep, right? So instead of focusing on Hey, I didn't hit the eight, it's well, that's that's a win, right? Getting an extra 30 minutes is a win. So, so what worked for you to get that 30 minutes? Well, and then, you know, taking that small win and going well, you're able to do this, you know, what about getting that extra 30 minutes? What about your mindset change? What about your habits change, that we can keep that going? And keep focusing on that to move you forward? Right? Because it's just about progress, not perfection. That's another cliche. So I'm going to be throwing a bunch of these out. But it really is. Right. So and it's not to underplay, you know, we're all fans of structured exercise and structured workout programs, right. It's one of the things we did I know you, I think you've talked with Brian about it, the LPT model, when we first started looking at changes to it, you know, one of the things we looked at was the whole client's choice thing. And it's really simple. It's a simple ad. And but it really did come out of the fact that hey, let's, you know, you're taking them through a workout, you're the expert, right? Here's this situation of your defining success, but but let's give them something where they feel good about it. Right? Why not throw in something they feel good about. So they know that, hey, I might have to get through some of these exercises that Rick's gonna really want me to do. I know they're important. I know, he's the expert, another good for me. But I'm gonna get to do a ridiculous amount of bicep curls or 20 ones when we're done, because I just have to do it. Because, you know, that's what I need to stay sane. So you know, that, that that kind of stuff? You know, it's simple. 

Rick Richey:
Yeah, yeah, I was working with with one of the NBA bigs at one point that was training him and he was he, at one point, he just said, I want to do bench press. And I was like, Look, I don't have that on your program. And that is not what you need to be doing. Right? So. I mean, it's not on the program. And he was like, I just, I really want to do benchpress I know it was like, Alright, alright, let's, let's go do some bench press. I'd rather you do him here with me. Right? Where I can focus on on things that need to be focused on I can be there to spot you, I can talk you through a tempo, I can work it into our program, versus him just going out and going ham on benchpress. And then not being able to lift his arm above his head because it was during season. So right. I mean, but you got to you got to give something back. And that's part of that's part of this process as well, is the giving back the the giving people what they want, and also giving them what they need. And we talked about that in a marketing sometimes or in sales, like giving them what they what they need packaged and what they want, all the time. My mom, my mom used to do that all the time, because she would, she would, for the holiday for Christmas, she would pack socks and presence. And so it was fun opening presents, but always suck when you got socks, right? But there wouldn't be another box. And sometimes there would be socks and the next box, but it was the opening the presence that was the good stuff. Right. So you know, there might be benchpress and after it's over, it might be superset it with some captions or some other things that he needed, but at least he got what he needed here in his head. And he got what he needed, which helps support him in his process for his game.

Rich Fahmy:
Right, right. And you know, till you can even explain this captions is hey, this will actually help your bench. Let's do this little active recovery in between set right now and this will help your benching So, and that's the funny thing too is coaching is also about listening to everything that your client comes in, say whether it's verbal, nonverbal, you know, facial effect their mood, just listening to everything, how they're breathing, you know, are they sighing a lot are they you know, taking deeper breaths than normal to try and calm themselves What's going on? Right? It's you listen to everything and for and for your player, or your athlete who you just want maybe you just want to push something heavy office just right and it's not about package. Relevant probably right? If he's in season especially maybe he's feeling like he's, he's, uh, he's getting boxed out when he's going for a rebound. You know, if you can, if you can push a little harder than he's going to be able to keep his position, you know, who knows what it's coming from. But that's, that's kind of our job as coaches is, what are you trying to get out of it? Let's do it, you'll feel better about it. And, you know, even if it's a placebo effect, and the guy just feels a little bit stronger, because he got those extra couple sets of bench. Then he takes that to a game that day or that or the next day. That's, that's an impact in a strange way. That's an impact on his mental wellness and his confidence. 

Rick Richey:
That's exactly right, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking with Rich Fahmy, and he is on a product development team at an ASM and he is fantastic. Again, like my go to guy when I just need somebody to talk me off the edge of private video just aren't going the right way. And you may be by listening to him talk right now you can understand why he's like the the confidant of of NSM as we go through, and we're working on projects, the way that he's addressing this right now. And the comfort and sincerity in which you approach things, which I think are very helpful. And we will learn stuff from you and your character as much as we learn from you and what you research and what you focus on in the business.

Rich Fahmy:
I appreciate that man. I mean, I you know, I tried, I really do try. You know, and if it if it comes across as as you getting kind of what I'm thinking and feeling and it comes across. That's great. And, you know, the industry is giving me a whole lot you know, I've been in this business now for I've earned the kind of the weight, the white hair, the white beard,

Rick Richey:
You didn't mean that four years ago?

Rich Fahmy:
Yeah, you know, yeah, I didn't, I didn't have all this. You know, and I've been in the business now for what, gosh, this is gonna sound terrible 21 years. And so I i've likened myself, I'm the old guy that comes out of his house and goes get off my lawn, right? I'm that guy in the fitness industry at this point. But, but I do want to really advance the industry, because it's given me a lot in my life and been there for me in many different ways allowed me to serve people and other professional so I care about it, I really care about it. So the information that we give to professionals, you know, I want to make sure it's something that's helpful and applicable. And I do see this, especially with 2020, and into 2021. The focus on wellness, you see all these things about you know, self care, and, you know, and then sometimes people get a sense of self care and wellness, meaning you're in, you're in a bubble bath with some candles lit and soft music playing, you're just taking deep breaths and trying to like, you know, relax from your day. And that's part of it. I think if as fitness professionals, you know, we look at wellness and self cares as more of an active process, whether it involves movement, or, you know, practice mindfulness or practice gratitude techniques or, you know, recovery techniques, you're you're actively trying to do something to better your your state of well being, you know, even making, you know, creating a sleep routine, right? That's an active process. That's something you're trying to do to help yourself sleep better getting better quality and quantity of sleep. So yeah, anything we can do to arm professionals, I'm all for I've had the benefit of of speaking with some amazing experts, some of some you've had on your show. And they really, they're really excited to talk to us actually. Because they they have been seeing the need for this kind of wellness mindset to make its way into fitness, because the crossover is so important. And they understand the importance all the As you've seen, right? All the research that supports movement, not necessarily even structured training, but just movement and how it plays into someone's well being in a bunch of different domains.

Rick Richey:
I think it's a good thing to bring up. So we talked about the wellness wheel earlier. What are some of the components in that wellness wheel that we as fitness professionals can actually utilize? And what are some of those key performance indicators, right? Like, what's our KPI as, as a fitness pro that can say this is this is these are things that you should focus on to help your overall wellness.

Rich Fahmy:
Sure, you know, you know, we're big on scope around here. So if we're looking at scope of a fitness professional who doesn't have any other sort of licensure or credentials, specifically, like in the healthcare arena, for example, licensed manual therapists or anything like that, if we're looking at most fitness midfoot most fitness professionals, things that are within our scope to impact models would be obviously the workouts button but not just the structured training and not just the old PT model we all know and love it's also what someone's total movement, and then also what is their relationship with movement. You know, so there's that when the movement There's also different aspects of recovery and regeneration. So, you know, recovery can be an active process. So you're, you're, you're pulling out the massage gun, you're you're, you know, working on flexibility, you're trying to do even active recovery between sets, engaging in mindfulness techniques. So there's also like a lot, not only physical recovery, there's psychological recovery. And that could be as simple as relaxation time. And so I'm just getting psychological relaxation. I'm just reading a book for pleasure. I'm not reading it for work or for information gathering. You know, and there's also mindfulness, mindfulness technique techniques, excuse me, which have you I think the research on that keeps multiplying in terms of the benefits of mindfulness. And mindfulness necessarily isn't the same as meditations on a necessarily a meditative practice, both both will bring you kind of that to that spot. But mindfulness is more of that sort of focused self awareness without judgment, right? You kind of hear that as a common definition of mind with mindfulness. You know, obviously, nutrition is pretty huge. nutrition for the sense of wellness is a little different, because oftentimes, we think of nutrition in terms of performance. We look at this food as fuel mindset, which, which has that its ups and downs. But nutrition has a lot to do with Keno kind of like, What's your relationship with movement? What's your relationship with food? And then overall, are you getting this this healthy pattern? So it's really about the healthy dietary pattern? Not necessarily, what are you doing for this meal? Right now? Right? Is that healthy or not? Right? It's more about what's your pattern. That kind of stuff also enables you to enjoy time with family and holidays, right? You're not, you know, I've talked to professionals who they're the person that comes into Thanksgiving with their Tupperware of pre made food, because it fits their plan. And these are professionals that are not preparing for a contest. They're not trying to make a wait for anything. They're not trying to get on stage in a week. They just believe that's what they need to do. And, and they've told me they feel like a, like a bummer. You know, they're coming to their family with their they like, you know, their family thinks that they're the professional judging the rest of them because they're coming in with their Tupperware and video, and I asked one person in particular, she sticks out, right? And I said, Would you rather just not have it was in a Tupperware and just enjoy Thanksgiving dinner? Well, yeah, of course, that's well, well, why not? It's not gonna, it's once a year. Right? So it's, you know, what's your pattern? What's your pattern? When it comes to nutrition? Not necessarily, is this food good or bad? You know, what, what's your relationship with with eating in general, when you start labeling foods, when you start having this preoccupation with food, as well, so there's different things there. You know, again, if anything seems to like it, it's it's stepping, if you have a client, it looks like it's heading towards disordered eating, you got to refer them out to a medical professional, you know, and those and then mental mental well being enforced. So addressing stress is a huge one, understanding stress a little bit, and then having different things available to you to alleviate stress, whether that's movement, whether that's mindfulness, whether that's some psychological recovery, you know, whether it's physical recovery, just taking a break, you know, standing up walking around, doing some stretches, some foam rolling, or whatever it is to just reset for a second, right. So those kinds of things of professional can help their client with so you know, stress management, you know, recovery, you know, mindfulness, mental relaxation techniques, mental, you know, resetting movement, obviously, you know, all those things are within scope. And, and the great thing is, if you're looking at those things, and if someone were able to do things that moved in those domains, so just probably a little progress in any one or, or all of those domains doesn't really matter what their mind their wellness improves, right, you can't help it, your wellbeing improves, because you're doing something that moves that forward, even a little bit.

Rick Richey:
I like it. I like it. When it comes to this kind of thing. We work with people. And let's say, and I'm using this as an example, because I experienced that the other day, which is I like to go through a daily practice of foam rolling and stretching. And I just didn't feel like doing it. And I know, I know that I'm gonna feel better after I do it. But I also just didn't feel like getting up and doing it. Sure. Same thing happens with exercise. So I want to go for a run and I just don't feel like going for a run. And I know that I've gotten to a point where I might consider myself a runner because sometimes I don't feel like going for a run and I'm just on autopilot and I walk over and I put my shoes on and I'm like I don't feel like doing this and then put my other shoe on I tie it and not feel like you're in this and I get up and go for a run not feeling like doing it and coming back and feeling so good. Yeah, it's done. And some of that is an actual feeling. feeling of feeling more, you know better and awake. But also there's some of it's a sense of pride that I overcame, something that I didn't want to do that I knew was better for me. And that was a choice. That was the better of the options that I put on the table for myself. So with that being said, you know, how might you coach somebody who's just told you, you know, since the last time you saw them three, four days ago, they had a plan. And they know that they feel like they they're better when they eat this way, or when they get up and do their stretches, or when they go out for a walk. And they just couldn't make that happen since they saw you last. And there's a coachable moment, right. So I'm learning from somebody, what they agreed with themselves that they would do, and then they come back and meet you. And they tell you that they did not do those things. And you mentioned that coaching is about listening to everything. So what are we listening to? And then and then how do we we turn that conversationally with them? To give perspective?

Rich Fahmy:
Sure, sure. I mean, first thing I'll do is I'll have them do wall sets for 15 minutes. for not doing what are you thinking? What's wrong with you? So the first thing, some people are listening right now they're going yeah, that sounds good. Yeah. I'll try that. All sets, I'm going to give them their meal journal, while they're in the wall, sit and write down everything they wrote for the past week? Um, no, it's, it's a really, actually, actually, the first thing is self kindness. That's the first I'm gonna say, cut yourself some slack. There's actually I'm gonna butcher this study, I'm going to butcher and I'm going to tell you that right now. I don't even remember the author. But it was a study that was done author's going, don't say my name, my name, you're gonna butcher my stats and the outcome. But But the point is, there's a point to at least there's, there's a, you know, I'm not gonna have to worry about the statistical analysis, but there's a point to it. And they had two groups and one group, but they were both allowed to make sort of these, these, you know, non healthy choices, they're given snacks to choose from. And, you know, and whether it's like a doughnut or something, you know, something, you know, we would consider non healthy, that's an issue in and of itself, right? It's a different study that actually considering certain foods bad or not bad or good. So, anyway, they the groups that, you know, some groups had the, the unhealthy snack, and they were sort of left to their own devices. And I think there was some language given to them sort of reinforcing the fact that they made a bad choice. The, the other group, so that was the control group, the experimental group, they, they were actually given some, someone came in, a researcher came in to talk to them and said, you know, what, it's cool, you know, they kind of fostered the sense of cutting yourself some slack, some self kindness, some self compassion. Because the what the researchers were trying to understand is, if you cut yourself some slack, does that just enable future? failure? Right, right. And the point of it is, it doesn't it actually it actually improves your chances of success. So cutting yourself slack. So that that's usually the first thing is, Hey, you know, if you're my client, let's talk about that, you know, that big scheme of things. You didn't, you didn't hit the targets that you set. And notice that what I'm saying what I'm saying is the targets that you set, right, you defined what those targets were, because you thought those are things that you would meet, and those, those are things that you thought you'd be able to get done. So first thing is cut yourself some slack. You're here now, and you hear talking through it, that's a win. Because the win we're going to get out of that as some self awareness now that we look back on the week and talk through it, talk through it, tell me what it was that you felt was in the way What do you was something too difficult? just flat out too difficult? What was it right, and then you can go through your list of things of what work was particularly stressful or, you know, my son told me he had a project dude at school the night before and he had three weeks to do it right, which I'm sure never happens. And you know, and whatever, whatever it is all these different things, water heaters, leaking, my car needs new brakes, right, all these different things that happen because you know, because life and and you know, you would go through these different things, whatever it was that that was in the way, you know, and I would try and listen for, you know, after I told you cut yourself some slack, I would try and listen for root causes. Right? What what are the things that really getting in the way and Is it is it just stress management? Maybe, you know, just depends on the client depends on the person because you so if it's a stress management thing, I would say hey, if you're just too exhausted, right, don't don't put pressure on yourself to make it the walk that you had to do it. Is it? You know, what are you willing to do? Is it just simply to sit on the couch for 10 minutes and practice mindfulness or practice gratitude? For the things that are going right with your day? You know, and it's, you know, is it a mindset thing or a stress management thing? You know, that might that might help. And if you do that, who knows what can happen, right? But if they cultivate a small win, it's that whole upward spiral thing, right? look for something that that gets them a small win. And that will have an impact on future success that will give them a little bit of confidence to go ahead and go, Okay, well, you know, if I can't, if I just can't do a 20 minute run, like I said, I was gonna do, let me do a 20 minute walk with my favorite playlist, right?

Rich Richey:

Some people want a we underestimate music, that's totally different podcast. You know, you know, what, one one thing that I've heard an expert recommend,
is to have a motivational playlist on the ready, right, when you just don't feel like doing it. You just don't feel like getting the workout and you just don't feel like getting the run in. You know, and that's all I could say, have the playlist ready. Don't put pressure on yourself to get the running, but you would get some movement in what's reasonable to you. And you can say, Well, okay, well like a 20 minute walk. Okay, okay, get your headphones and get your earbuds in, hit your playlist and go for a walk. If you feel motivated to jog, go for it, you want to do some intervals, you know, some walk, jog, whatever it is just you just want to take the dog on a stroll, but you're moving, you're out in nature, or you're outdoors. And you're moving. Right. So it's kind of that that reset that. Because what you don't want is people to come in. And because you know, this person probably been beating themselves up the entire week, and they're probably uneasy about meeting with you, as their coach. And more often than not, that could be where we lose clients because they just are embarrassed. Right? Right. Or they don't want to come in. So they skip. And then you go What happened, this person they were doing okay, and then they're just gone, right. And a lot of times, your clients don't always tell you why they don't come back. And it could be something as just you're doing the right thing in your mind, cuz you're holding them accountable. But they maybe see these failures as adding up what they see as failures. I don't like using the word failure these they see these setbacks as adding up. And they just can't keep coming and going. I didn't do it. I didn't do it. Whereas if we just Hey, cut yourself some slack. Let's talk through what's realistic for you. And let's do that. Right? The big stuff, the big stuff comes. That's that's that whole thing about meeting a client where they're at which we say a lot in fitness, they don't think we're very successful at it, to be honest, right? Because someone goes in I'm a total couch potato, I just sit down and I really don't I'm exhausted. I commute for an hour each way. And I get home all I want to do is sit because I'm just tired, right? Am I going to come in as I'm gonna come in as a fitness professional go great. Well, we got to get you to 150 minutes a week of activity and two resistance training sessions a week. So right, let's go I'm getting you where you're at right now. Your couch potato, you're gonna be here in a month. That's fairly meat that's not really meeting with that person where they're at, at all. Right? Now that's that's kind of what it's a mindset that a coach can make is, well, what is? What does success look to you? Right? What does that look like for you? And how can we? How can we move forward closer, closer to that end point just a little bit? Every time we try, right?

Rick Richey 43:14
Like Did I hit my minutes? Or did I lose this weight? And did I do my X amount of days of work and I get my total weekly volume in? And the truth of the matter is like Did you do something that that maybe moved you forward and if you move backwards, not to beat yourself up over it. And for us as as a coach in this instance, not to beat them up over it. Right? I've worked with people especially like, in my young martial arts career where I had coaches that would get mad at me and slap me on the back of the head and say you're supposed to do this in the fight those and, and I don't, I didn't respond well to that. And I've had coaches that looked me in the eye and you know, said you're doing really great. There's some things that need to be worked on. I need you to pay attention when they do this. And all of a sudden, like, why did I ever train with that other guy to train with that guy? It didn't make me feel confident. Going into it didn't make me feel comfortable with them, especially in a heated moment where that I'm being hit with more heat, when really what I needed to do is somebody to tell me, hey, in the midst of all of this that's going on, I'm going to be a voice that you can listen to versus somebody that that adds fire to a situation and and that that type of mentality when it comes to training. I mean, working with coaches that dealt with me and heated situations made me go oh, maybe I should be me. It'd be more like that guy wouldn't be the one that talks to people and works through Rule situations and you know, this is what to be aware of and pay attention to versus you know, we talked about this, I told you what to do, and you didn't do it. And that's frustrating.

Rich Fahmy:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, it's, that's a very good point. Because really a lot of our clients and athletes even, they beat themselves up pretty well, they don't really need your help. Right, right. Yes. Yeah, exactly. They don't really need your help. So and, you know, one of those things that that just, is that whole self evaluation thing. So that way, I'm not even doing an evaluation on that on that client. It's, I'm saying, you tell me what do you think? Right? And, and I'm what I'm listening for? Is their language about themselves too harsh? Is it too demeaning? Or is it too, sort of, I'm a failure, I'm never really gonna get this. You know, and that's when that whole cut yourself some slack. And let's, let's re tweak the language a little bit. You're not going backwards, right? It's just, it's just called life. But I'm here to coach you and guide you and give you suggestions. Let's work on something together. That moves you forward. You know, it's really in the end, you know, here comes cliche number 38. Is that, you know, it's that whole thing about staying off of the solution or staying off the result and focusing on a process instead, exam, you know, and that's, and that really, you know, that that makes a huge difference. It really does. I had a client one time who he told me something that actually a yoga instructor had told him that he really liked and he goes, you know, because he had the mind, he was talking to his yoga instructor kind of going, I don't know, I'm not really good at this, or I'm not good at that. I don't have the flexibility to get the strength to be able to do this. And the yoga instructor just turns to him and goes, just something to work on. Yeah. And then keeps walking. Right. And so when that one little moment with that yoga instructor, he goes, it's just something to work on. All right. Right. And so you apply that to everything. And so when I heard that from him, I started doing that with all my clients, right? You know, because they just started beating up on themselves and get well, you know, why is it important to you? Well, it's important, okay, well, that's just something to work on. You know, and then let's find a way to work on it, that makes sense in your life. And that and that won't, will move you forward.

Rick Richey 47:08
I love that. I love that, well, what might be some potential next steps for cbts if they're interested in learning more, not about training, but maybe a bit more about coaching.

Rich Fahmy:
You know, that there's, you know, the International Coaching Federation is pretty popular. The trick there is, you know, that doesn't really happen to, to work with a particular kind of coach. So whether you're like a health coach, wellness coach, fitness coach, there's some resources there, but I would really I would look at our look at some practices you're interested in. You know, there's also some good research, if you're, if you're a fan of searching through Medline, if you're looking at self compassion, looking at mindfulness techniques, for example, I look at these things that people can do to manage their stress and, and, and be more focused. But I would say, as a fitness professional, pick some practices to think through. And then to then start with coaching yourself on it. Actually, whether it's a mindfulness practice, or recovery practice, or sleep hygiene, or looking at nutrition differently, right? That's a huge one. That's one a lot of people I think, can can can benefit from, you know, it's fine some of these practices, and then coach yourself through it. And it's kind of hokey, as it might seem, journal, it kind of game, what would you tell yourself? If? Right, how would you? How would you talk to yourself, if you know this setback happened? Or the success happened? Or the small one happened, right? What would you say to yourself to make sure that you weren't just defeated, beating yourself up? And, you know, you want to cut yourself some slack? And you know, how would you How would you do that? You know, how would you that's, that's one thing. If I had to pick one thing, let's say, as a as a place to start, is talk to yourself, you would think a really good coach should talk to their client. Hmm. You know, begin with compassion, begin with some kindness, understanding, and then hold yourself capable enable, right? Don't hold yourself accountable, like oh, my gosh, I didn't hit this checklist. So I'm bad. Right? Like you make a judgment about your ability to hold yourself capable and able, you can do this, you can move yourself forward. You know, there's a difference there. I think I think especially in in a lot of professions that are results driven and performance driven, not just fitness or athletics or performance training. There's, there's this focus on if I allow any kind of kind of goes back to that study, if I allow any kind of slack, or I allow any kind of kindness to take place, then that's letting them off the hook. That is, that's not the case. So I think that mindset shift is important too, is by allowing some self compassion. That's not the same thing as letting someone off the hook. Because they have defined what wellness is right and what success is. So they're, they're still, you know, held to that standard. Right, they still have to do that. They still have to Get there, it's just it's just getting there that isn't sort of this, this kind of beat down mentally and emotionally on the way I'd rather get there going, Okay, I mean, little progress, little progress, little progress, I'm feeling good feeling better now I can make maybe some bigger leaps in my progress, you know, maybe I can take a look at interval training, maybe I can look at more structured resistance training, because I've made these little these little steps along the way. And you'd be surprised, you know, I'm sure you've seen it, where some clients kind of, they sort of take this weird ramp like this kind of really slow, really slow, and then they kind of, there's like, some deflection point where all of a sudden, they make these, this crazy leap into wanting to do more things, like they want to, you know, take some hikes they've never taken before, and they want to run marathons, or they want to, you know, they all of a sudden hit this deflection point where they're like, okay, I can really do some cool stuff, you know, but but getting there seems kind of slow.

Rick Richey:
Right? And that's about the process. So you know, you don't get there by focusing on the end result. And you know, that that analogy of what's the, you know, what to eat a whale, what's, you know, how do you eat a whale? And the answer is one bite at a time. Right? So and sometimes we look at the whale and we go, there's no way, there's no way. And to be honest, it's the whale is the whale, what's in front of you is what's in front of you. The journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step. And, you know, all you can do is focus on the steps, you can focus on the bites that you can take. And a lot of times we focus on what we can't do instead of focusing on what we can do. And that's where that shift needs to happen is focus people's attention on their abilities and capabilities, as you said, so rich, thank you.

Rich Fahmy:
Thank you. Yeah, of course, man. Yeah, it's, it's, it's a process. But it's, it's totally doable. It really is for most people. And they will, I will put a little qualifier, a little asterisk on that. If you're looking at someone who's preparing for a contest to practice or a competition, right, obviously, there is a timeline and a result, that's very, very important. So that's a little different than, you know, the majority of our clients. So there are you know, metrics that are very important in moving on the way but you can actually take wellness practices, don't integrate them into athletes, I was talking with someone who is to performance and wellness director for an NBA team actually won very close to you in geographic location. And, and they are actually kind of successful integrating wellness practices into performance programming, like gratitude and mindfulness. The interesting he did he did say, though, is it's hard to shift professional athletics and strength conditioning into that that mindset. But he looked at it is talk about small wins, he looked at it as one thing a year. He says it was it was a point where I had to just think about one or two practices a year to integrate or a season, I should say, so he wasn't trying to hit him over the head with all these different things they should do. He just picked a couple things that are really important that he knows that'll improve the wellness of the athletes, and then therefore their performance.

Rick Richey:
I love that. I love that. And I love that you took time to be with me on this yesterday, man. Like, it's nice if we sit there and we have a phone call. And as we talk, I'm like, man, why can't we just record this phone call? on the podcast? It'd be so much what this is. Yeah. It'd be so helpful for people just to listen to us chat. And as well we help people at least it's helpful for me. So again, thank you for your time. if people have questions for you, they want to reach out to you or social media, anything like that that you want to put out there for him.

Rich Fahmy:
Oh, sure. Instagram just rich fahmy. It's easy peasy. You can find me there. It's easy way to go.

Rick Richey:
Perfect. Excellent. Rich, thank you so much for your time, your insights and everything that you've given us. And for those of you who may give my gratitude for you being a podcast listener, so thank you for your time and listening to the show. If you want to reach out to me, hit me up on Instagram at Dr. Rick Richey or you can email me Rick.richey@nasm.org Thanks for listening. This has been the NASM CPT podcast. 

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National Academy of Sports Medicine

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