Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Coaching Runners – Faye Stenning

Guest: Faye Stenning

Release Date: 5/23/2022


Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.

Steven Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I’m your host Steven Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. In today’s episode, I speak with Faye Stenning. Faye as a runner took part in the 2008 Olympic trials for the five. Doesn’t meet her business partner Jessica O’Connell was actually an Olympic Canadian runner in the 5000 meters in the Rio Olympics.

Faye has the most Spartan Race podium finishes over the past decade, she can talk a little bit about those Spartan Races and her experience there. She is now a coach and a business owner at grit coaching. So a lot of our conversation is about how she uses the online medium to help coach runners we know as personal trainers, and how you need to have a foothold in the online space now to be successful.

So how do you coach runners from that perspective online, so we go over her client experience and her process at grit coaching? And you can find more about Faye or everything about fashion says at faye Stenning underscore OCR on Instagram that’ll give links to her other businesses and things like her podcast, the nitty-gritty training podcast.

With no further ado, here’s Faye, and I, thank you so much for joining the Trulyfit podcast. Why don’t you give my audience and listeners a bio on who you are and what you do in the health and fitness industry?

Faye Stenning: Sure. Yeah. Thanks for having me. I am an online coach. I have a business with a Canadian best one of my best friends and Canadian Olympians. Jessica O’Connell. So yeah, I’m a full-time coach, and deliver everything online, which is great these days. But yeah, previous to that I you know, I have this and we won’t get into it a long story of, you know, working in the corporate world and sort of transitioning out of that and making this my full time.

But I’ve been a, I went to the Olympic trials like button running back in 2008. I’ve been competing in endurance events, my whole life, most recently obstacle course racing, but the transition that now to a full-time coaching gig.

Steven Washuta: Actually, I do want to talk about that a little bit, because almost all personal trainers now have started somewhere else, or they started in some sort of corporate job I we just talked on the front end, I started in public relations, right? You were in some other job.

And I think they don’t understand that they can use some of those skills that they learned in those other jobs to help with whatever they’re doing now. And in the personal training industry. Do you see any crossover to what you used to do? You’re taking some skill sets there to what you do now? and online coaching and training? Yeah, absolutely.

Faye Stenning: I think, you know, it gave me a better understanding of people. So those like leadership and sort of people skills that you always are kind of aware of when you’re, you know, not running your own business, when you’re constantly having to sort of appeasing bosses, and you’re in that corporate setting, I think you’ve just learned a lot of about how to feed off people and interactions, which has been really, really helpful.

But the main thing, I think, for me, it’s just, I think if I was to start off as a personal trainer, and or as a coach, like, I’d be like, Oh, this is great. But it came from a corporate role, which I wasn’t that into I was in supply chain management, which was just contracts and paperwork.

And it’s the most important, I think, the benefit of coming from that into personal training is just appreciation for having a job that, you know, like my business partner, sometimes, like I just like, she went right into coaching, and she hasn’t had a corporate job.

I just like constantly feel like I’m telling her, you have no idea how good we have it to be able to talk about fitness and health all day long and get paid to do that. I mean, this is a topic I would you know, at a dinner table with my family, we bring up fitness and health, that’s like the number one topic we bring up because everyone’s interested in it.

To be able to get paid to sort of being an expert in that field is super, super exciting. And I’m very grateful for that. And I think that gratitude comes from being on the other side of it bore to death at a nine-to-five cubicle job. So

Steven Washuta: yeah, totally not to mention the fact that we can stand up all day and move around and pick up things and, and yeah, well with our clients sometimes and demonstrate and I have to be in the chair all day long. But I do echo your thoughts on just working with people sort of that the client relations, part of it is very important.

So you know that that transfers from any job. So you know, I try to convince people who are trying to become personal trainers. If that’s like what they want to do that you’re not starting over unnecessarily, right. You’re just you’re starting a new career, but there are always things you can take, just like life skills that that help you in your career as a personal trainer.

Faye Stenning: Yeah, absolutely.

Steven Washuta: So give us a quick background on where you’re from exactly in Canada and I have so many Canadian guests on I have no idea how but like 50% of my guests are from Canada, but tell me a little bit about where you’re from and then compare that to someplace in America that’s analogous so people have an idea.

Faye Stenning: Sure. Are you? Um, yeah, so I’m from Calgary, Alberta. West coast of Canada. We have provinces, not states. It would be one more province east of the very western part of the country, which is British Columbia. Most people are familiar with Vancouver. So yeah, I’m from Calgary, Alberta, a short drive to the Rocky Mountains. It’s about five hours north of Montana. So that kind of gives you an idea of where it’s situated.

Yeah, I would say it might. It’s sort of similar, maybe to Texas in a way that it is oil and gas capital. So I, you know, I worked in oil and gas as did all my friends. And they still do, like, that’s just kind of what you do there. I kind of got like, swept into that sort of world because that was where the money is that. But yeah, so that’s kind of what it’s like, but in terms of how it sort of looks, you know, we may be kind of like a Denver, I would say very similar to that.

Steven Washuta: Yeah, I had Kevin row call Shawn. He’s a cycling coach. He’s from Alberta. And he described it the exact same way. He said we’re sort of like, Texas or even Oklahoma where I am only three hours north of Dallas. Have of Canada and he described the oil and gas to so that’s funny. You say that? Okay, well, thanks for that. But let’s go into what you do. Now. Let’s talk to me a little bit about your history and spark for Spartan Races. So I don’t even know if they still exist. Are they still going on?

Faye Stenning: Yeah, they do. They’re, I would say in the elite side of things, there may be a slightly a slowdown or kind of a dwindling of the sport. But yeah, like I said, I came from I ran track in college. So I’ve always been a runner. You know, after college, just sick and tired of running, like, hung up my shoes, really got into like this HIIT training, functional fitness even dabbled in a little bit of CrossFit.

And then it just sorts of was this perfect meld of like endurance and strength and it meets these obstacle course races. And yeah, just like kind of just to sort of sum up the story. Basically, what ended up happening is I got into the sport, just kind of out of fluke, that ex-boyfriend at the time was like, wanting to try these Spartan Races.

I was like, whatever. It’s something like we can do together like Sure. This, if you want to do this, we can do this. I actually Absolutely, like slaughtered the field. Like I think I won by like 20 minutes or something. And I was like, this is the dumbest thing ever.

Like there are no legit athletes in this like, anyways, that was in Canada. Next thing I know me and this guy at the time, we’re traveling to Vegas and all over the states to do these races. And I ended up like not winning. And I was like, oh shit, there’s actually like legit people here.

There were collegiate like milers and really, really like ex-soccer players that are pretty high level like all these random athletes that didn’t quite make it to that next step. The Olympics are what are professional and just kind of were just killing themselves in these races. At the time, it was on TV, it was like ESPN was filming them NBC Sports, I got tons of TV time, from like 20, starting in 2016 for a few years, and then and sponsors and everything just kind of happened so quickly.

And then from there, because I’m not a complete idiot, like leaving an oil and gas secure job to just be a professional obstacle racer. That’s where I sort of spun out this side business, which at the time, you know, me and my business partner, I always love to tell the story because my business partner was training for the 2016 Olympics at the time.

And I was getting ready for this Spartan Race. Like, you know, venture that I was starting. And so we decided to start this business we met at this coffee shop and she’s like, Okay, I’ll develop this website. And she’s like, do you want to do like, do you want to like meet here just like bring your laptop like we could hack it out tomorrow.

I was like, I don’t have a laptop. Like I didn’t even have a computer at the time. Like it was so like bare bones. And we never really thought would come to anything. But I mean, if you can just imagine two high-level athletes, especially my business partner who’s brilliant and is one of the most driven people I’ve met, kind of come together. We just made it happen. So we’ve been having a lot of fun developing it.

Steven Washuta: Talk to me a little bit about the sponsorships. You don’t have to give me like dollar amounts. But were there people just giving you like shirts to wear and saying they’re giving give you free stuff? Or were they actually writing you checks? And then also when you won these races are the people who did win these races? Were they actually being paid out?

Faye Stenning: Yeah, I mean, at one time, I mean, I was making more money than my oil and gas job for two years as making more money than my oil and gas job, which is just sort of all in sponsorship dollars in prize money. The way it kind of works is like because it was As on TV, you were kind of paid to wear their logo.

If you had like your logo on your racing kit, and then it was on NBC and ESPN, that’s like, whoever watches it, like that’s exposure for them. They are paying for the appearance of that your parent’s piece for you as an athlete, podium bonuses, the Spartan series, and the races do pay anywhere from 3000 to 20,000 a race. You know, if you’re good enough, you can kind of string together a few winnings and do fairly well.

Steven Washuta: Let’s go into grit that is the company, right? Yeah. They’re your coaching company. It was this the company you’re talking about that you and your partner sat down with and developed? And if so, just give me an overall process of how things work? do I sign up for grit? What’s the next step? Yeah, so

Faye Stenning: yeah, so people will sign up, they’ll have an intake form just a very like basic questionnaire, just kind of like, we just want to have a picture of who they are, before we get on that initial call with them. So we’re not getting to spend three hours of our time, you know, figuring out who this mystery person is on the other side of the computer screen.

Yeah, so they fill out an intake form. And then it just automatically, they have a prompt to book a call with us. And so we give like 45-minute initial console calls and anyone’s free to have these, even if they decide not to sign up, we just really use those 45 minutes to get to know that person for them to get to know us and make sure it’s a good fit. From that there.

It’s paperwork on their end. And we’re very customized. So it’s like we have them fill out this Excel multi-tab form with like, every piece of equipment they own at their home gym, precisely Mondays if they have 47 minutes in our lunch break to train, and, you know, Saturdays, if they have 90 minutes like we make it, we don’t have any templates, we make it all custom.

So we’re trying to get all that information with them, then we go away, and we write a program for them. We have different tiers of coaching. And that’s where the real coaching, one on one piece comes. So our higher-tiered athletes who pay a bit more, I mean, they could just call me up and we can have a chat, they can book a call with me whenever we can make adjustments to the program, they can have feedback daily.

On the other side of the spectrum, kind of our athletes that, you know, don’t want such an expensive program are more, you know, here’s your program, when you’re done, let us know we’ll talk about it. And we’ll develop a you know, new program based on the feedback and how things went.

Steven Washuta: I think that’s fantastic that you have a program. I mean, we all need to scale in some respects, you’re not going to make money. But that’s not built off of just handing people a sheet and saying go out and do this, and that you’re actually personalizing everything. And that’s really making a difference. And that’s what we have to do as fitness professionals is make a difference and not just try to scale up and hand people documents.

Faye Stenning: Yeah, I mean, I never understood, like, and there’s so many successful fitness trainers that do this and good for them. I mean, but like the cookie cutter, one fits all one fits all type of training. I’ve always been someone who’s been really restricted in my mobility and really restricted in certain movements that I can and can’t do, probably from running all my life and you know, not stretching enough.

So they’re like very few things I can do. Like, I had a strength coach for a while he’s like, Alright, the first day, he was a very good strength coach. I’m gonna give him a little Allah and His name is Josh Hudbay go high for I can never pronounce his last name. But he was he’s a great strength coach. His actual strength coach was Colin Kaepernick’s strength coach.

And when he was working with me, like, I remember, we were doing back squats. And he’s like, oh, okay, so we don’t squat. Like that is not something you do. We do. You know, Bulgarian split squats, and we do all these things that we don’t squat. And so that’s just what I mean. Like, how do you these cookie-cutter programs once fit size fits all, I was very clear off the get go that I don’t want to go that route because it just doesn’t work for anyone. Frankly,

Steven Washuta: I think if I heard initially have an online running program, not me as a personal trainer, but as a general population. My first question would be like, Well, how do you coach me? Virtually? What is your response to people ask them?

Faye Stenning: Um, yeah, so I mean, that is where like the cheering up. So paying for the higher, more expensive product really comes into hand because we have video so we have an app and there are videos of myself or Jessica, kind of doing the exercises. They have the ability to film themselves as well.

We can take a look at those but they’ll have a video and a description of how to do the exercise and they can kind of look at that and like I said if they want us to analyze it if they pay for that extra thing.

We can look at it we can analyze it, we can give feedback. You If it just doesn’t work for them, if they’re like, I can’t get in that position, we will just switch out that exercise and customize it. So it’s a lot of obviously we’re not there to see them.

But that’s where, you know, just having when you’re on the monthly when we’re on the calls with them, just asking those like trigger questions like Where did like a good one is like, where did you feel this exercise? Like, a lot of times, like, you know, like an exercise that we like, Oh, God, my, like, my traps were burning or like, okay, like you’re not using the right muscles. So just questions like that can kind of help sort of trigger what we need.

But we’re doing like not super complicated movements. Like, we’re coaching runners, we’re coaching endurance athletes, they need to be stronger in the running stride, which isn’t very complicated. We’re not doing like crazy, like hang snatches cleans all these like fancy we don’t get thrown.

One of my biggest pet peeves is like all like the fads and fitness where it’s like, not everyone needs to be like swinging around a kettlebell and making these exercises complicated, like, sure, that’s fine. And if you’re in a hit class, and you’re not an athlete, you’re just trying to get your heart rate up and get some good metabolic conditioning in, then yes, that is for you.

But when you’re an athlete, and you’re specifically training for a sport, a lot of the movements are very fundamental to just how humans move. We’re just doing them loaded. And just to make the athlete more structurally sound.

Steven Washuta: Yeah, couldn’t agree more. Let’s get let’s let’s stick on this topic here. performance versus overall health. You know, I’ve had clients before, who were runners, but they were also like triathletes, so a little bit older, I worked with the older population, he was in his mid-40s, that I’m thinking of, in particular, he was running, swimming, biking, but because he was always moving in that one plane of motion, right,

he was always moving and sort of like a sagittal plane, I had to make sure that he was moving in other directions, right? He was I’m talking high level where he represented America and like the 40 to 45 range for sprinter athletes.

But he couldn’t do like a minute plank, because all of his training was just for performance. It was It wasn’t like full-body stuff. So what about that? Do you work on other things with people? Or do you just have them do that on their own? And you focus on their running?

Faye Stenning: Yeah, I think like, performance and overall health are like, sometimes can be very competing things. But sometimes they need to work together as well. So yeah, I think that you need to know your goal. So if they’re in performance, like okay, yeah, you can sort of skip out on doing all that, let’s call it maybe accessory work for so long.

But as you kind of get older, and you get in the sport for longer, it really does come bite you in the butt. So a lot of endurance athletes, especially runners are notorious for this. They’re like, why are we doing this? Why, like, why are we doing this, I don’t need to do this, I don’t need to do that.

And then they get in their 30s, like me, and especially like Jessica, my business partner who has all these flare-ups. And it’s like, Well, it’s because you’re really you haven’t developed that range of motion, that strength. So everyone should be strength training, no matter what their sport is, and the key is doing proper exercises.

But on that note, I think you’re exactly right, what you said about this triathlon, that you were doing a lot of lateral work with him, like, that’s what you need to be doing, like, a lot of time, the jobs of a strength coach, when they’re working with athletes is to undo some of the damage that our sport has caused.

So you know, as a, say, let’s just take a cyclist, for example, like, yeah, you’re not doing any lateral movement, your feet are clipped into your like your, your pedals, and you’re just pushing down in that motion, well, you know, you probably need to do more work laterally, you probably need to develop the posterior chain a bit more, a bit more hamstring work, like you’re really trying to balance out the body.

A lot of it is trying to undo what your sport has done, like opening up the hips, as a cyclist to use your hip flexors, you’re obviously going to get jacked up if you’re spending you know, 25 hours a week on a bike, and your chest is rounded. So a lot of times you want obviously exercises to help the athlete get better at their sport, but also to reduce the damage of that sport, I guess in summary,

Steven Washuta: yeah, that I mean, that’s a great point. And I’ll add to that, I think, also not overworking the athlete in areas that are already working. So if you know if I’m let’s say I have one of your clients, so they actually work with me on the side they work with you with running or something right.

And they told me that you had to run eight miles that morning for whatever they’re doing and that’s a lot for them, well, then I shouldn’t be working legs that day. Right my prescription for them should be to work on upper body or mobility and other things.

I think we have to understand that. If the athlete’s goal is performance, we also make sure that we are working on things and not overdoing it. Of course, they have to have stronger legs right in order to increase their speeds and increase their times. But we don’t do that on the same day. They’re running eight miles.

Faye Stenning: Exactly. And I think that from people that aren’t sort of educated or educated in fitness and exercise Eyes, especially sports performance in particular, like they think, Okay, I’m a marathoner. So I’m going to do squats today because I’m a marathon, I’m an endurance athlete, I’m going to do reps or sets of 20. It’s like, no, no, you need the opposite.

We know your muscles can endure, like, we know they’re going to be working for three-plus hours, we don’t need to do reps of 20, you might think that that’s more similar because it’s more in line with your sport, because it’s an endurance realm. But we need to be working on your strength because that’s what you’re missing.

And so we’re going to actually do five sets of five and most like, most, you know marathoners, like, freak out about that. But if you were to go to, you know, the Nike Headquarters and watch some of their elite marathoners, I mean, they’ve got like Jordan hasay, who I fellowship and one of my favorite runners outside of Jessica fur, since I’ve been a little girl and like, or since I’ve been in high school in college, but you watch her strength.

She’s like loading up the deadlift bar of like, 200 plus pounds, she probably only weighs 90 pounds, and she’s pulling that weight and reps of three. So those coaches understand what those types of athletes need. And there’s a big misunderstanding when it comes to the how-to tap into that strength for endurance athletes, particularly.

Steven Washuta: Yeah, it is its own niche. And I think people don’t think so they go, Oh, I played high school sports. And I’m a personal trainer. So I can merge it all together, it’s like, it’s a little bit more intricate than that you really have to be a high-level athlete, or have worked with high-level athletes to know and then also what you just touched on earlier, there’s a difference between a 21-year-old athlete and an athlete who’s aging, you have to treat them differently.

So for example, the athlete I was just talking about his in his 40s. We did a lot of pilates reformer because he needed that small muscle work that accessory work that you talked about more so than anything else.

Because he was older, I couldn’t kill him in the weight room because he was doing so much sprinting and biking and swimming. So we had to do accessory mobility. If he was 21, I could have had deadlifting. I could have had him do those things. But he doesn’t recover the same way a 21-year-old does.

Faye Stenning: Yeah, absolutely. I actually get to try pilates reformer, but I would love to try that I know the gym that I go to offers classes. Keep saying I gotta try this, I gotta try this. It’s phenomenal.

Steven Washuta: I will tell you the only thing I don’t like about it I’m trained in it to have classically trained is that there’s a lot of cueing and sometimes there’s almost too much cueing. So people are always talking to you. And I personally like to use their former on my own when I can Zen out more like yoga ask, but there’s so much cueing.

They’re like, okay, circle your feet, engage your ribs, push it, put your ribs into the back, make sure you’re doing this point your toes do this, do this. They’re snapping, they’re counting. Just like yeah, I’m on let me let me get to the exercise here. But I think gotcha. I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s I’ll give it a go for sure. It’s everywhere in in New York City. S

o there will be people, I assume you tell me if I’m wrong, who you won’t work with, they’ll call you up. And they’ll say, Hey, I’m looking for a run, I weighed 280 pounds, I have both my knees, one of my knees just replaced and I have an ACL injury and the other knee. Do you just say sometimes sorry, this program isn’t for you?

Faye Stenning: Well, no, we have a also we have, I feel like we have a million types of services we offer but we offer like a return to play or return to run programs. So with a lot of cross training. So for those athletes, what we would do, and Jessica is an expert in this because she’s dealt with a lot of injuries on her on her side of things is yeah, we would sort of like talk to them and put them on more of a cross training program.

And then with the idea, like, I mean, I maybe we as a company are slightly biased, like I just think that we are humans, therefore we are animals. And we were like Born to Run like I just feel like running is a very natural thing that I want eventually to have like everyone to be able to do pain free. But I think because of society and lifestyle factors, like we’ve really ruined that for a lot of people and it’s become a very painful activity.

But the goal I think because I think there’s nothing more miserable than being on a being like a hamster on like a wheel at a gym like trying to get your cardio minutes in. I think being able to go outside and play like we did when we were kids and just run it’s just a way better way to way to exercise. So that’s always the goal is getting back to running.

But yeah, we’ll start them on a cross-training program and then we’ll build them into a Walk Run. And as their tissue tolerance becomes, you know, if it if it’s able to handle the running miles, then we’ll you know, naturally start chopping out the walks and getting into a sustained run.

So that’s always the goal. And no matter if a person is 300 pounds or what their situation is, I mean to a certain extent. That kind of remains our goal and our object For all our clients

Steven Washuta: talk about some of the equipment used in the running world that doesn’t even need to be specifically Fe for your program. It could just be general items that runners use you yourself anecdotally or some of your other runners are their equipment that you really like and don’t like, for example, using watches to check your HRV or using the specific treadmills to check your gait, things of that nature.

Faye Stenning: Yeah, I will admit like Jessica and I are the both like we are like not into like tech gizmos and gadgets at all. I think like Jessica and me most recently too, like we like just got a GPS watch to tell us our mileage and our pace. Like, we come from old school like track. And yeah, it was just go run like for 45 minutes, and you just had like a simple Timex stopwatch. All of our athletes are obsessed with gadgets.

So we’ve had to learn this and try out these things. My problem with a lot of the watches and readings and stats that you get from all these things, is they’re very variable dependent. Like sometimes it’ll tell you like, oh, like your heart rate variability is like so offered or something’s wrong, but like, you just might have other factors in your life, like maybe you’re dehydrated sleep, and it’s like, Is it really necessary for you to need a down day? Or is this just like another variable that slightly alters the results?

So I like to kind of get our athletes to read their body. I think that motivation and mood says a lot about where you are like whether you’re overtrained or undernourished or whatever it may be, I think that if you wake up dead, like multiple days, and you’re just feeling unmotivated, and like irritable, and all those things, that’s an indicator that, you know, you might need a little bit of a break.

I like more subjective questions like that, to be honest. But you know, I do think that heart rate variability, and I know, like, whoop, I haven’t used it. But I know a bunch of like, well-respected athletes that do use it, and they swear by it.

If you’re kind of elite, and you really want to make sure that you’re hitting those recovery zones and getting adequate rest, I do think heart rate variability is probably, you know, a good one also, just like getting your resting heart rate, even if that’s just with your fingers in the morning, just to like, check just to have a baseline. And that’s completely free. Another good one. What other things? I think I mean, I’m just

Steven Washuta: like, a lot of those running stores will have those treadmills, where you go on, and they could tell pronating, and then they give you let’s say, the Brooks a and sort of the brooksby. Sneaker based on that, do you implement those things? Or do your clients use those?

Faye Stenning: Not so much. I used to work at a running store. And we used to do those they used to teach us when before we were hired, how to watch a person’s footfall and see if was protonated or neutral or what and I would say that like I never really figured out how to look at someone’s feet.

So I was glad that they’re having a machine do that it’s probably more accurate than the human eye. But no, like not so much. We don’t do any gait is like evaluation, we will give guidance, like if someone’s like over striding and they’re like landing super hard on their feet. Like we’ll assess that.

But we also kind of believe that you’re gonna run how your body wants to run, like the fix over fixing things. Sometimes just like make creates more problems. So I know that there are a lot of people who probably got like very wealthy from doing running gait analysis and good for them. But that’s not the first thing I go to I go back again to the strength.

Are you stable? Are you strong? Like is this even a problem? Or is this just how you look? So yeah, other things like fitness tools, like there are certain things that I’m a fan of. Like in the gym like I love sled for athletes.

I think a sled is a great piece of equipment because it’s fairly safe, it takes form and technique out of the equation and you just push it and you can load it up pretty heavy without having much muscular damage because there’s no eccentric contraction on a sled so you can just load it up push heavy weight, and knock it super sore or tear apart your muscles for your you know, maybe your track workout the next day.

So I love a sled. I mean simple things just like an adult adjustable pair of dumbbells is a great tool to just have it have at the house to do your basic lifts with I love a TRX too. I’m a big fan of like doing some like upper like upper body and core work even for runners. So if you can’t quite do a pull up like I love the TRX rows and I love all the ability to adjust the tension on it just simply by stepping back or forward your foot. It’s a really, really Easy pay your whole body.

There’s a whole bunch of advanced core work that I like, do on it. It’s it’s so nice. Like, I probably spend six minutes a week on core, I probably do two three minute TRX sessions, and like my core will just get like rocked and it’s like six minutes in a week. And it’s just really hard intense exercises you can do on the TRS which is hard to find from any other piece of equipment.

So yeah, I love those not sponsored by T Rex at all. I actually asked them I never have asked people to sponsor me ever but I was like, I just going to ask because I’m such a fan. I was like, I’ll happily promote this.

Like, even if you just give all my athletes like free tier access. I think it’s a there’s a mil I mean, you can get the unbranded version too. If you want. I know, Jessica has like one for like, $20 it’s just as good.

Steven Washuta: So yeah, there Yeah. And then there was a bunch of TRX fakes that came out. That didn’t work as well. I mean, you can get better on branded ones now. But there was something called like, I forget, like the red Ripper or something.

But it’s, you know, the TRX is more or less, you know, with the handles are always even right. I mean, you could Yeah, mostly loop them through. But this one like saw, Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, that’s so good. Yeah, it was no good.

But the TRX is my favorite absolute piece of equipment. If you said I only got one thing to use. That would be it. By far, like you said, there are so many things you can do with it. Yeah, adjusting the angle of your feet, then using gravity to either work with you or against you make this more difficult or lengthening or shortening based on that you can do everything with it. I have like, yeah, we got a five TRX certification.

Like every time there’s like a new one out, I go get it just to learn a little bit more about what I can do with it. But I want to add one thing to what you said about the sled is that you know, people will argue with me on this. But you know, if you’re deadlifting, let’s say, you can put so much weight on the bar that even if you can’t lift it up, you can still hurt yourself by trying to lift it up with, that’s not really the case, because of just how your body is in gravity.

If you put too much weight on it, you’re gonna give it one push, and it’s not going to go anywhere, and then you just take the weight off, you’re not really going to hurt yourself. So I think, yeah, it’s important to form an injury prevention standpoint, that if you’re a runner, and let’s say maybe you’re one week out from an important race, that you’re not deadlifting and that you’re using something like a sloth.

Faye Stenning: Yeah. And it mimics the stride of a runner. Like, it’s like you’re bent over you have that hip flexion and extension, like it’s very specific to what we’re doing in sports. So,

Steven Washuta: yeah, and I like how you said that you don’t really change anyone’s gait. I think there’s, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And much like the strength coach, you shout it out earlier.

If there’s a problem with your body, sometimes that’s you know, it’s not always like we need to fix all these other things or transplants just said, You know what, we’re not squatting, we have all the math,

Faye Stenning: I really appreciate when he did that. I was like, Thank you, because I don’t want to waste our time. Like I’m locking my hips and this and figuring out all this stuff. Like, it’s not like a good squat or makes a good runner.

There’s no correlation. Probably actually odd, like the opposite of a correlation, it’s probably a bad squatter that makes a good runner, because usually their hips are tight. And the big, you know what I mean? So anyways,

Steven Washuta: I’m with you. And there’s always unintended consequences from doing that, just like you said, and the second thing is, it’s time like, we don’t live in a vacuum. So if he’s spending like 10 minutes, each session in the front end, and then another 20 minutes doing accessory work and getting your hips more mobile and loosening things up.

Well, he could have spent that other 30 minutes doing things that would have helped you, right? If you’re choosing to do something, you’re choosing not to do something else. And it’s something that I’ve had to really imprint into young trainers who I mentor, is that you have to look at the time that you have, it’s finite with your client, and say, yeah, all exercise is good.

No one would like no one would look at a trainer who decided the opposite of your trainer, and who like taught you how to squat perfectly and be like, That guy’s an asshole. But at the same time, it’s that there are because you have a finite amount of time, you have to review your exercise prescription as a trainer and say, what are the things that I shouldn’t be doing in this time? And what are the things that I can take out and replaced with better things?

Faye Stenning: Yeah, absolutely.

Steven Washuta: Tell me a little bit about your app. Is it on all platforms? How do you find it? And then do you have to reach out prior to like having access to it and get the okay from you guys?

Faye Stenning: Yeah, so we use like the app is, I guess it’s not our app. It’s PT distinction is what we use. And we so we’ve used that app and we basically and put our own exercise library into that app. So it’s, it’s their platform, our customization, and our programming within that platform.

That is how we deliver the runs or the strength side of things through and then we do spinal surge, which I’m sure a lot of coaches are familiar with. If they if they’re endurance coaches, we deliver a run through final search. And yeah, you have to sign up with us we give you passwords accessed to unlock the workouts.

Steven Washuta: Well, PD distinction is As a direct competitor of Trulyfit, or will be one more last, because we do the same thing that they do, we can maybe steal you and bring you over. Or you can Yeah, or you can be on both platforms. But let’s, let’s wrap up here.

Do you have any advice for young trainers or coaches who are looking to do something similar to what you do, and this could be either on like, what you’ve learned in business, it could be what you’ve learned in helping runners, anything that comes to mind for helping somebody who’s young and trying to coach runners.

Faye Stenning: On the business side of things, like, I mean, be prepared to work really, really hard. It’s not a nine-to-five job. If you think that, you know, oh, marketing, oh, all these little things don’t really matter, they do. So don’t just think you’re going to be like programming all the time.

Because there’s a lot of other stuff that goes towards that. Um, in terms of like another just sort of like trainers who are training endurance athletes or athletes in general. I don’t think that I mean. Jessica, and I just has a master’s in exercise phys. I have a Kinesiology degree, like, I don’t think that’s necessarily like you must have bio. Like, at all, but it sure helps.

So if you don’t have education to sort of backup what you’re doing. Make sure that you do some reading or even take a course. Because I think a lot of coaches who train athletes would be really well served. By just like understanding basic exercise physiology. Particularly understanding the different energy systems. Like do you even know what being aerobic versus anaerobic even is? And all the you know, and everything in between. And what your sport what type of energy system. Your sport is primarily relying off, so you can better program interval sessions. And those things, a lot of athletes come to us and they’re like, oh, yeah, I had a marathon coach.

And I was like, Okay, well, like, what kind of intervals? Are you doing? Like, 30 seconds on 30 seconds off. And it’s like, you’re not even working the right, like, just watching the right systems. So yeah, there’s so many good books, there’s probably courses you can take. So like, just learn a little, a little bit about exercise physiology, like waist trainers, coaches.

Now, other advice, get to know the people that you’re coaching. I think that Jessica and I have retained a lot of our athletes. Because we actually know our athletes like intimately. And I think that’s really important. If you know, someone is just like, so type A. Like, your job isn’t to question them, your job is to hold them back. If you sometimes you have to be real with your clients as well.

If you don’t have a relationship with them, where you’re like, at some level of closeness. It’s really hard to be real with them. Like we can literally tell our athletes, like no, you’re probably should not do this race. Because you have no chance of being ready for it because you work 70 hours a week. And we need you, you know, training two-hour sessions for that Ultra.

You want to do this in three months. So yeah, getting to just sort of know your athletes. I think goes a long way when it comes to client retention. Because anyone can find fairly good programming on the internet. But what they’re looking for is that customization and that accountability. That’s really what they’re paying for.

Steven Washuta: Yeah, that is great information that the customization. The accountability and the connection with your client. Because they know you care. That’s a big part of it. You know, I want to sort of add to that. And then and then spin-off and ask you a question is that, you know. I’m very honest with myself, I know what I’m good at. And I know what I’m not good at.

For example, I’m very good with the client relations part of it. And I’m not great with the physiological part of it always. Right. So even though I’m a corrective exercise specialist. I’ve been working for years, and it’s not something I absolutely love to do.

So if something is above my paygrade, I will like to ship it out. But you have a partner in the business, have you found that to be helpful. Because you can do the things that you’re good at, and she could do the things that she’s good at?

Faye Stenning: Oh, absolutely. Like, just before I hopped on this call, I was just sending an email. And I was just like, oh, I’m not really sure about that. And then it was like, Alright, here are the details. It’s like, just we’ll get back to you on your last question. I’m, I benefit probably, well, no, we equally benefit.

I have more experience with a lot of the race types that our athletes are doing. Because we do have a lot of obstacle course racers. Jessica, I mean, I have an undergrad she has a master’s. So basic exercise phys you know, I can answer most of it. You know, I got that down, Pat.

But I mean, if some athlete is asking specifics like I’m going to race in Colorado. I’m looking to do altitude training, how many weeks out should I do this? And should I alter my iron intake? You know, all this stuff like that suggests questions. So I’m we’re very, very lucky that we have each other on that note. It’s equally important to understand what is and is not in your scope of practice. So we don’t when someone’s like, write us a diet plan.

We’re not and I can’t stand when coaches like go outside of their scope. Because you’re dealing with the human body. And it can be very dangerous. So we don’t like right diet plans, we tell them to get a dietician or nutritionist we give advice. And we can give sort of guidelines on bait. You know what we know from, you know, basic science. But we’re not getting into the nitty-gritty details on that stuff.

So knowing what to outsource, I think is really, really important. And knowing to say, I’m actually not too sure and research it and get back to the client. Is also like a really powerful tool, which sometimes we have to do. Normally, that’s just me shooting it to the desk. Because I’m lucky to have her. But yeah, it’s really, it’s really important to be humble and know what you know. And know what you don’t know.

Steven Washuta: Yeah. And, you know, we echo that a lot on this, probably every podcast, it gets brought up at some point. And I try to work with people’s incentives. So I understand that people really want to do this, because they think it’s going to better their business.

But really, if you want to better your business. You want to network with people who are smarter than you and all these other areas. Bbecause it makes you look better. So when my client comes to me, and they have like a really serious neck injury. Of course, I can maybe guess what it is because I’ve had clients with a lot of serious neck injuries. I could say, oh, your triceps not firing, it’s probably, you know, compression and C 67.

But I don’t actually diagnose them. I say you need to go to this orthopedic doctor. I have a connection with him all send us right to him. Right. And that makes you look better. And yeah, your client cares. Your client knows that you care about them. You have connections in the industry, and then people will get sent back to you because of that.

Faye Stenning: Yeah, absolutely. Know Exactly. So this

Steven Washuta: has been a great conversation, where can listeners find more about grit and more about your personal?

Faye Stenning: Yeah, you can. It’s is our website all details about our coaching programs and is outlined there. I’m also on Instagram grid underscore coaching. My Instagram has faced any OCR people or look up my business partner who definitely gives her a follow.

She’s Jessica O’Connell. Yeah, that’s where we also have a newsletter. Where we give out free training advice and tips and tricks. We write articles and all that stuff. It’s completely free. You can sign up for that as well. I think there’s like a link on our on our website or on my page. There’s links everywhere.

Sometimes I can’t keep track. But we also definitely want to plug our podcast. So we have an awesome podcast. It’s called the nitty-gritty training podcast. Jessica, come on every other week. And we talk about we just talked about training and exercises. We also have awesome guests on and it’s a lot of fun. So definitely go on your Apple podcast app and subscribe to that as well.

Steven Washuta: And review it because it helps us. Yes, absolutely. My guest today has been phased in a thank you for joining the Trulyfit podcast.

Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again!




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