Daniel DeBrocke: Kabuki Strength Director of Education
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Guest: Daniel DeBrocke
Release Date: 9/12/2022
Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.
Steve Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I am your host Steve Washuta, co-founder of truly fit and author of Fitness Business 101. On today’s episode, I speak with Daniel to Brock you can find him at Daniel underscore D Roc ke on Instagram. He is the director of education and curriculum at Kabuki strength.
He works with most strength athletes and bodybuilders really, the offseason, bodybuilders, Daniel and I on this podcast really discuss the full spectrum of fitness and health and nutrition, everything from adherence and nutritional interventions with clients to the barrier to entry into the fitness and nutrition worlds. And then a lot of the psychological side when working with clients. You know, Daniel has a really unique perspective, I find that most trainers, again, I’ve talked about this in my book are either very direct or very demonstrative, meaning they have these big bold personalities.
And they understand the psychological side to train and know how to work with clients and get them motivated, or they’re very direct. They’re looking more at the body like an anatomical sleuth, and they’re able to break specific things down from that perspective. But Daniel balances both of those very well, which is rare in the industry to be both great direct and demonstrative sides of the training spectrum.
He is big into research, but he’s also always has a foot into the online and in-person training world to make sure that he’s keeping up with the relevant trends and times it was a great conversation again, you can find him Daniel underscore to Brock on Instagram. With no further ado, here’s Daniel Ani. Daniel, thanks so much for joining the truly fit podcast. Why don’t you give my audience and listeners a little background on you? What do you do in the fitness and health industry and what is anything else you find relevant to your career
Daniel DeBrocke: here? Yeah, first off, I just want to say thanks to you for having me on. It’s, it’s awesome to be here. You’ve got a pretty awesome podcast. I’ve listened to a couple of the episodes before. So yeah, it’s cool to cool to meet face-to-face. So as far as a little about me, I’m the director of the education curriculum at Kabuki strength.
Daniel DeBrocke: I’m a strength coach, I primarily work with strength athletes and bodybuilders, bodybuilders during the offseason, I don’t really do the contest prep stuff. My work is mostly revolved around how to get people really jacked and really strong, and just basically be better athletes and be a lot more resilient.
Daniel DeBrocke: So I’d say probably now it’s about 6040 60% of my work is research and education, development, and then 40% coaching athletes, because I always want to make sure that I have my foot still in the practical side. And don’t get too lost in this nuanced academic kind of like theoretical basis, if that makes sense. But that’s kind of the long and short of it.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, I’m based in Canada, I’m waiting on my visa to go through I don’t really know what’s going on with that. If that doesn’t come through in the next little bit, I’ll probably move somewhere else just for the time being. So we’ll we’ll see how it goes.
Steve Washuta: And I think we had mutual counterparts here. I don’t know if it’s in the podcasting world or the fitness world. So Andrew Coates, and Marc Morris, I don’t know if you’ve interviewed these they’re just friends of yours.
Daniel DeBrocke: Both. So they have both been on my podcast, but they’re both friends of mine as well.
Steve Washuta: Yeah. It’s funny, I probably one in seven guests have been Canadian, just by happenstance, which is very, like very random, given the fact that like, the population of Canada is probably like the same as California. It’s in that like, 40 million range. So for me to have, like, most of the one in every five or six guests be from Canada, it’s just completely random. But it’s, it’s been it’s been fun also, like learn a little bit.
So I’ll ask people like, okay, describe where you are in Canada, compared to like America, and I always get a lot of like, Oh, I’m from Alberta. That’s more like Texas and Oklahoma. And like they give like descriptions. And just another thing you can learn while you’re podcasting. Yeah. So I asked to every guest what is interconnected with fitness and health, especially in personal training. What are your thoughts on what I consider a low barrier to entry into being a fitness professional, personal trainer, or coach? What do you think about that?
Daniel DeBrocke: So from the conversations that I’ve had, I suspect that I probably have a slightly different take on this and other people. So I’m very much like economics is a really big hobby of mine, and has been for many, many years. And so looking at the economics literature, you kind of start to see certain trends. And so, for instance, like when we look at licensors, right, there’s not good evidence to suggest that licensors actually make a difference in the long term.
Daniel DeBrocke: They might in the short term, but in the long term, doesn’t really seem to be the case. And so why that’s significant is because the whole intention is to create a barrier to entry to make sure that people are qualified. But why isn’t that the educational institution’s job? Right? And does the licensor actually do anything? And the data would suggest that No, actually it doesn’t. You know, I mean, if you look at androgenic deaths, so essentially, that’s medical malpractice, basically.
Daniel DeBrocke: So you can think of it that is one of the top three leading causes of death in America, which is astonishing, right? And so it’s like if licensors really are that effective? How can that’s even how’s it impossible, right. And again, the data on this is pretty clear when you when you do a little bit more of a nuanced sort of research review. But my feeling is that I don’t necessarily believe that more regulations in the fitness industry are going to be beneficial.
Daniel DeBrocke: I think they’re just going to create more bureaucratic tape, red tape that’s going to benefit the governing bodies, and the governing bodies are most likely, you know, going to be outdated, disconnected, and very slow to change and adopt newer, more, more effective approaches. So I’m very much against more regulation in the industry. Ultimately, what you will see is you’ll see that people by their reputation, by the effectiveness of what they actually do, and so on, will either succeed or fail.
Daniel DeBrocke: I mean, you look at the industry churn rate, and it’s like, what 80% or something like that, like it sounds incredibly high. So I don’t think adding another layer on top of that is really going to do anything, I think it’s probably just going to harm people who are doing good more than it’ll harm people doing bad trying to get in, if that makes sense.
Steve Washuta: Makes perfect sense. That’s a great take I, I have sort of flip-flopped back and forth on this. I’m also in economics, not my favorite podcast is called econ talk with host Russ Roberts. So I, I always look at this from that perspective. I’m of the camp that it should be all the way one way or the other, whatever it goes, meaning, I don’t like a little bit of oversight if there was a ton of oversight, where there was actually only one very high-level certification that you can get.
There are a lot of loops you have to jump through, I can see a way in which that could be good. I could. But that’s not my preference. My preference would be as you just said, it’s just to be a completely open wild, wild west, libertarian-esque market, let people figure it out what’s good for them, and they’ll eventually find sort of good information always beats out bad information, you just have to do your due diligence. And it’s up to the consumer to do their due diligence and know what’s right to know what’s wrong. And I do think though, people don’t like this in the industry.
I do think it’s up to us, though, too, as personal trainers and people in the health and fitness industry, to also spread, who is not giving good information. So there’s a lot of people who are too nice and say like, Oh, I’m just going to do my own thing. And I’m not going to say anything bad about anyone else. And I find it. I have to if people are spreading bad information in the health and fitness industry, I owe it to the general population and to my clients to let it be known that this is just a charlatan spreading information because he wants to make money. And I think that we need to take that on. I don’t know what you think about that.
Daniel DeBrocke: That’s kind of a tricky one. So for me, I’ve never been the kind of person to call people out. I definitely believe we should call it bad ideas,
Steve Washuta: ideas, not people.
Daniel DeBrocke: I agree. But it’s like there is a bit of a fine line because it’s like, if you start seeing individuals, like who consistently just share bad information, misrepresent research, and you see this all the time in Nutrition Sciences with like demonizing sugar or needs or dairy or artificial sweeteners. You see this in, you know, the don’t squat past 90 degrees thing and like, let’s, you know, do these, like yielding isometrics and all these other things where it’s like, huh, yeah, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.
Daniel DeBrocke: I still, I guess it’s just not my style, like, yeah, for me, I just don’t want to be drawn into the drama. Like, I’ll find out about drama, like a year later. And I’m like, I had no idea that was going on in the gym, you know, and like, I think that I’m able to avoid a lot of crap from that by taking that approach, but I am definitely pro calling out bad ideas.
Daniel DeBrocke: You know, and that’s the thing. I don’t necessarily know where I stand on it for me, I would call out the ideas versus the person. But I don’t know that I necessarily disagree with other people calling other people out for that stuff. Because I do think there is a benefit. I just think each person I guess is going to kind of figure out what that balance is for themselves.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great answer. And you know, all ideas should be open to scrutiny. That’s their idea. They need to be discussed and unpacked and sometimes those ideas are tied to people. So Most people get roped in.
So you might have clients who will come to me and be like, Oh, do you think I should just like, eat livers all day like the liver King? It’s like, well, no, this guy is on like, trend and probably, you know, 1000 milligrams of testosterone a week like he’s lying to you. But there’s, so ideas do get tied to people.
Sometimes they get roped in, but I’m with you, you shouldn’t go after the people, you should go after the idea. And then and let that unfold.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, no, that’s fair.
Steve Washuta: So let’s ask that same question for the nutrition world. Do you think that’s really the same thing? That their barrier to entry into the nutrition world, you need to be a registered dietician, they’re sort of gatekeepers and the nutrition world? Or do you think just like the personal training industry, that ultimately this license ship, and all of these, like, really stringent rules and regulations are not advantageous for both the population and for, let’s say, the the economics of the person working?
Daniel DeBrocke: I, I kind of have the same perspective on it. So for instance, like, but I guess, obviously, there’s a nuance to both training and nutrition. So for instance, like, even though I do have some experience with dealing with pain and injuries and things like that, I will still always refer out, because that’s not my area of expertise. You know, if someone’s like, Oh, my shoulder is bugging me a little and, and if it’s, you know, like niggles and little things like that, that’s obviously something that we can address. If someone’s like, hey, you know, I’m presenting with pain doing these things, but not nice things.
Daniel DeBrocke: And it’s really like just a very odd presentation of symptoms. Or if they have something maybe a little bit more pronounced, that doesn’t seem to be getting better by augmenting load, hydration, nutrition, the training, recovery, things like that, then I’ll definitely look to refer out, you know, so I think it’s really important to know, your own limitations. And I mean, you can talk about scope of practice, but realistically, people are outside of their scope of practice all the fucking time.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, if you want to be a coach, you’re outside your scope of practice a lot. Because, you know, like, if you’re giving, like most people, if you get close with your, with your clients, you end up maybe giving them advice, personal advice, that’s not in your scope of practice, you know? And like, I mean, do I give nutrition protocols to individuals? Or do I work with them on their nutrition with them?
Daniel DeBrocke: Yes, I do. I’m not a registered dietician, you know, but do I need to be a registered dietician in order to, you know, say, like, hey, let’s, let’s try eating more veggies, hey, let’s try doing this hills, try doing that, you know, and making maybe recommendations or things like that. And so that’s where it gets a little bit murkier, it really depends on who you’re working with. So for nutrition, the same thing, like what I try and treat someone who has maybe like GERD, or, you know, PCOS or something like that, you know, maybe it’s going to be best refer out.
Daniel DeBrocke: The same thing with, you know, if I have an individual with an eating disorder, you know, these are all things that I have experienced with. And so I might work with these individuals. But I might also recommend that, hey, let’s work in conjunction with a registered dietician, or a clinical psychologist or something, whatever is appropriate, based on circumstance. So, again, I don’t think that we need to necessarily have all these crazy regulations.
Daniel DeBrocke: However, I think that those things will generally just get exposed. For the people who are like, Oh, well, you know, then there’s what about the harm that’s done in the meantime, show me the difference between now. When there’s licensure, show me the difference, because you can’t, in the long term, there isn’t really a difference. So I think that, although that’s definitely a concern, practically speaking when you see these things pan out, the damage done ends up being pretty much equivocal.
Daniel DeBrocke: And the cost benefits, at least in my perspective, don’t seem to make sense. So again, I think it is tricky. But I think that if the individual, the coach, the nutrition person, whatever you want to call them, I think if they, you know, are certified or whatever, like, you know, you probably shouldn’t be going out there and treating people or doing anything like that, you know, it is important to stay within your scope.
Daniel DeBrocke: But again, it kind of gets a little bit blurry. And it’s a difficult conversation like, and I want to make sure that I’m saying like, because I don’t want to get in trouble of saying this. So these are not recommendations to just go in whatever you want. Or practice without the appropriate certifications, or designations, or whatever. But this is just sort of like a conceptual discussion that we’re having right now. I do think it’s a little bit tricky, because, you know, let’s say you’re working with someone who’s needing to lose 15 pounds, and they have no issues with their health.
Daniel DeBrocke: They have no issues with like, you know, disordered eating behavior or any of that stuff. That’s a very different service you’re providing than dealing with an individual who doesn’t need to lose a significant amount of weight. They actually have significant metabolic diseases. These are metabolic issues or other things like that. But then they also have a history of binge eating disorder.
Daniel DeBrocke: And, you know, those are not the same people, and your level of knowledge and experience as required for either one of them is very different. So, you know, I think that if you were to just wipe all of them out across the board by saying you need to be an RD, or you can’t help anyone with nutrition, I don’t know that that’s going to be beneficial, I think it’s gonna be more harmful and beneficial, for sure. And again, I think that the data would sort of suggesting the same thing.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, there’s a lot of gray areas, like you said, we can’t pretend that it’s not happening. It’s happening. People who are coaches, or personal trainers, there’s too much tie into getting results,
Daniel DeBrocke: doctors, doctors, clinicians of all sorts, everyone has to work outside of their scope of practice to some degree, the time where becomes difficult is when it’s like, are you doing harm? You know,
Steve Washuta: and that’s why you have a network and community that you can refer up to hopefully, or refer down to maybe it’s the vice versa, I had a conversation with Mark Morris on the podcast, and we were talking about, you know, if you should also have people to refer down to and end up to so maybe there’s a client who you know, this is just easy.
It’s an 18-year-old who is like I want to, you know, lose 1% body fat and gain a little bit of muscle, you’re like, Well, I’m booked, but I can refer you down to somebody because this is an easy job, I don’t need to give you this information, someone else can easily get you to your goals here.
That’s like underneath me. And then I have somebody else above me, who’s dealing with people who have metabolic issues and maybe binge eating issues. But yeah, I mean, like you said, this, this is a problem in amongst all industries, I think it’s, it’s easier to shed a light in our industry because it’s such a hot topic.
And you’ll see like, I’ve had registered dieticians who have been on here, who their whole sort of like, Instagram-like marketing scheme is just like basically telling anybody who’s not a registered dietician that they shouldn’t give out information, you know, they’re just yelling at anybody who is sort of what they call an influencer.
But you know, there are registered dieticians who are one year out of school and have no practical experience. Then there’s somebody who has it just maybe, you know, just a personal trainer, who’s been working with people for 3040 years. They’ve, they’ve watched a bunch of different diets work and not work, they understand adherence, which we’re going to talk about soon.
They have what I call it crystallized intelligence, they have this intelligence that they’ve built up over 20 or 30 years, not just from anecdotes and their clients, but also from research and reading.
Steve Washuta: I mean, a personal trainer now in 2022, has more information about food on their phone, than any registered dietitian did, let’s say in 1992, right, who didn’t have a phone in their hand who can’t start looking things up, who couldn’t start researching, and going on all these things. So I think, because the information is so easy to access, now, it is easier to give out the information provided, like you said with the caveat, it’s generalized, it is not in a specialty or an instance in which it’s above your paygrade.
Steve Washuta: But we as fitness and health professionals need to look at the full scope of our client’s health. And that has to be nutrition, that has to be their psychological health, that has to be there lifting programs, and although we don’t necessarily need to tweak all of those, we at least need to know what’s going on in all those areas.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, yeah, I mean, it’s definitely tricky. And I don’t know, I just, I just make sure that I’m getting results from my athletes, and I’m producing good content. And then like, if I’m doing that, you know, I’m I’m okay. You know, like, I haven’t really had any issues where I’ve gone, like out of scope and something bad has happened or anything like that, like, I’m pretty cautious about stuff like that. And I do have a very strong referral network. So it’s not something I think about too much. But I’m very much like you were I’m very libertarian in these things. And again, I think in this case, the data just supports it very, very clearly. So,
Steve Washuta: so tell us a little bit more about you, your I would call it like your lifting ideology, your elevator pitch, if you’re talking to friends and family, and they’re like, hey, what exactly do you do? What do you promote? How do you work with people? I know you give a little bit of that on the front end, but talk about sort of your ideology in the lifting and exercise world.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, so I guess I’ll kind of take a step back a little bit before we go into some of that and just talk about the needs analysis and the actual intake process of when you start working with an individual. So needs analysis is an incredibly important aspect of, of working with an athlete. So I tend to take more of a client-centered approach. And, you know, it’s important to understand because a lot of the times that now have like different connotations, it’s thought of as like hand-holding and stuff like that.
Daniel DeBrocke: And so, there’s a very fine line between empathy and enable No. And I think as a coach and as an experienced coach, you have to kind of walk that line very carefully. And know, you know, make sure you’re you’re being empathetic, but you’re not venturing into enabling them and just handling or coddling them, because that can be at least just as dangerous. So, during the needs analysis, you essentially are there to get to know the individual.
Daniel DeBrocke: The individual is a very complex person, right there not just input and output in terms of training, diet and sleep, you need to understand their temperament, you need to understand their goals, why? Why do they have these goals? And some people don’t even know that, right. But the more comprehensive understanding of the individual, the better, because that’s going to assist you in making judgment calls, and the proper selecting the proper progression, strategy and intervention.
Daniel DeBrocke: So what you’re looking for, you’re looking for things like, Okay, what do you do for work? What’s your previous history with exercise or diet? Depending on what it is that you’re going to be doing? You know, are you looking to be competitive? Do you have very significant goals? Like, are you looking to become a world champion? What’s your previous experience? What is your job? And how much sedentary time do you have? Do you have any injuries? Do you have any aches Do have any pains? What has worked? Well, what has not worked? Well? Have you tried any diets in the past? Do you have a history of disordered eating behavior? Or are you just kind of a clean slate Have you never dieted before? What’s your educational background in terms of exercise, fitness, nutrition, mindset, all of that stuff.
Daniel DeBrocke: And just, you know, by the end of it, you should have a very, very comprehensive view of who this individual is, why they’re coming to what their goals are. And then from there, that’s when you actually have the conversation with the person. So they fill this form out before they even see me, I review it, I write down a bunch of questions that I want them to clarify. And then we just basically have a discussion. You know, I say, hey, you know, it says here that you wanted to compete at World strongest man, but you’ve never competed before?
Daniel DeBrocke: Do you actually know what that means? Like, do you know what you’re getting yourself into? Do you realize that you’re gonna have to take an insane amount of drugs for the next 1015 20 years? Do you know that you’re probably never gonna get there because you’re five foot four?
Daniel DeBrocke: And even if you were to put on an incredible amount of weight, you’re just not going to be heavier, strong enough or tall enough to do these events, you know, so it’s like, you need to really understand where the individuals coming from, you need to understand their motivations, you need to manage expectations, effectively, don’t shut people down. But just, you know, make sure that they actually understand what they’re getting themselves into.
Daniel DeBrocke: And then essentially, from there, I’ll try and also understand a little bit about things that didn’t work as well, that’s very important. So, hey, if you’ve died before, what didn’t work? Why didn’t it work? You know, if you’ve trained before, why haven’t you been seeing the progress that you want. So this is an incredibly important part.
Daniel DeBrocke: Because once you’ve done a really good job of this, the nutrition, the program, the progression strategies, all that stuff basically should be written by the time you leave, that that initial call, it should already basically be done for you. Now you have to do is put pen to paper, right? So that’s, that’s a really, really important aspect is the initial intake. And then from there, that’s when you move into the actual training intervention, the nutrition intervention, and then you know, the what sort of communication strategy you guys are going to have.
Daniel DeBrocke: Because everyone’s different, like, let’s say, you have a service, that’s fantastic. It’s like, you talk, you know, three times a week, and you do a video call once a week or whatever, and you’re reviewing their videos, you’re doing the nutrition, all that stuff, right, and you’re doing their training program once like, in weekly blocks, right? So it’s very, very hands-on very focused lots of communication.
Daniel DeBrocke: Well, some people don’t want that type of communication, they might actually find it overwhelming, or overwhelming, or cumbersome or burdensome. So you know, you also need to say like, Hey, here’s what I offer, but let’s scale it to whatever it is that you need, and you will do best with it. Now, some people will say they don’t need communication at all. In that case, for me, I just say that I’m not your guy. Yeah, we need to communicate at least once a week. If we’re not communicating at least once a week, you’re not having you don’t have a coach, you have a program. That’s not the same thing. Right? And so, the reason why I say that is because if we don’t,
Daniel DeBrocke: if we don’t work within certain parameters, I just know that the results are not going to be the same. So I just say, You know what, save your money, don’t hire me, maybe hire someone else. But here are the reasons why I work within this framework. And I’ll kind of explain that to them. And I never really get pushed back on that if I’m being honest.
Daniel DeBrocke: But yeah, from there, that’s where you sort of determine what’s going to happen with the lifter and where you’re going to start them. Whether it’s nutrition intervention, whether it’s like the training program, how much volume you’re allocating, the frequency of exposures, all of that stuff should pretty much be there. Because you’ve done the video reviews, you’ve done all that stuff. You’ve you know who you’re talking to, basically, but it’s all predicated on doing a really good job, but that initial intake
Steve Washuta: Yeah, what you just described as the personal side to personal training that, unfortunately, going back to the certifications that they just don’t teach you. And it’s something that you have to come up with yourself and have to understand over time, you obviously, I’ve had enough clients to know the importance of that, to be able to sit down eye to eye with them and have a conversation, not just have an intake form, like you said, because what happens is, ultimately, whatever they write on the intake form, things get sort of mixed up.
Right? How you read the question, and how they analyze the question is never the same. I might write Do you have any? Have you had any serious injuries? And they write no. And then a month later, I found out they had a heart attack? It’s like, well, that that I’ve met, like, yeah, if you had a heart attack, like that should have been included in there, right?
So if you don’t have an actual sit down with them, and like re-ask those questions and say, Have you really not had any serious injuries? You’re 53, like, you’ve never had a serious injury? They might go, oh, you know, I broke my ankle. When I was 26. playing tennis, you’re like, well, I need to know that.
Because now there could be compensation patterns based on whatever happened to your ankle throughout the years. So having those conversations, like you said, Daniel, is so important. A great intake form is the first step. But a lot of people stop there, they don’t do what you do. They don’t have those secondary conversations, they don’t follow up with the proper questions.
And I think it also, and this is not gimmicky, it allows your client to know that you care. Like I really ultimately care, I want to get you to your goals like I this is I’m digging in, because every little tidbit of information that I can get is going to better my program for your long term.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, 100%. I mean, it’s just it’s being professional, right, like with. So when I do my weekly check-ins, I don’t do a video call, like they always have the opportunity to schedule a video call whenever, but most people don’t really take it. However, whenever I’m doing the check-in, I’m reviewing their check-in sheet, I’ll actually record a zoom recording like this, or a Google Hangout or whatever it might be of me going through they’re checking, like, hey, really great to see that you’re, you know, you’re in a positive mood, your stress is still low, you know, it looks like your sleep is great. Your step counts, awesome.
Daniel DeBrocke: Your body weights trending in the right direction, I’m going over every single detail with them. And then I’m going to tell them, hey, for the next week, here’s what I want you to prioritize, here’s how I’m going to adjust your program, or, hey, everything’s going well, let’s not adjust your program, let’s just kind of let it run and continue seeing the progress. And even though I could just write that in a text, if they actually see you and hear your voice and watch you review it, they know you’ve reviewed it.
Daniel DeBrocke: And as weird as that sounds just doing that will help retention, like exponentially, it’ll help athletes buy in significantly because they’re like, oh, he actually cares. He’s actually doing the job, He’s actually being thoughtful, He’s explaining what we’re doing. Why we’re progressing what we’re doing next. So it’s like, There’s no mystery. I’m not just like, hey, here’s what we’re doing. And you’re like, Well, why are we doing this many sets and reps? Why these exercises? Why did you reduce my calories? Or why, you know, whatever it might be.
Daniel DeBrocke: And so again, it sort of gives them that sense of like, relatedness, because and competency as well, because it’s like, you’re including them in that, and that kind of goes back to that self-determination theory, and building self-efficacy. And building that level of rapport with the clients long term. Because now they understand it’s a collaborative process. And sometimes I even ask them, I’m gonna be like, hey, you know what? It looks like things are going pretty well, and blah, blah, blah, but I just wanted to touch base and see how you’re enjoying the training.
Daniel DeBrocke: You know, if they’re not giving me much feedback on that, I might just ask that question outright, and then wait for the response. And a lot of the times like, hey, you know, no, love it, it’s going great, blah, blah, sometimes, like, you know what, I really liked it, but for the most part, I actually hate doing like these bench variations. You know, why are we doing those? And do you think maybe we can add an ad in some of these? Or, you know, like, sometimes I’ll have a powerlifter just say, you know, can we add more biceps? And that’s not a super functional exercise for a powerlifter, you know, beyond like, just basic stuff for maintaining health and like orthopedic benefits.
Daniel DeBrocke: But I mean, for them, I might say, Yeah, you know, what, if that improves your enjoyment, if that improves your buy? And if you’d like to him and fuck it, why not? Because you’re probably going to do him. If I say no, so let’s just do that, and get on the same team. Then it improves by it. Now you actually are like, Hey, he actually listens to me, he actually, you know, takes the feedback that I give him seriously. He makes adjustments, you know, now if it’s a stupid adjustment, I’ll you know, maybe course correct and explain why. But if there’s no real reason not to add it, then I’m like, Sure. Why not? You know,
Steve Washuta: Well, speaking of buying in and enjoying your workouts, I assume that has something to do with adherence, and behavioral change. Do you want to explain what that is sort of in layman’s terms?
Daniel DeBrocke: Behavior change or adherence or
Steve Washuta: Yeah, adherence?
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, the first step of any intervention is going to be adherence. adherence, Trump’s frequency or nutrition, strategy, calories, and anything else, all of that comes after her. So if you have the perfect program, it doesn’t matter if they’re not sticking to it. And this is incredibly relevant because, in the US, I think something to the effect of 40 or 50% of individuals who have life-saving medication, who have it, not who have access, but they actually have it in their house, do not take it, which is pretty telling, right?
Daniel DeBrocke: So adherence basically looks like this, you want to make sure you’re taking the things that are going to have the most significant magnitude of effect on their outcomes are on their results. And you’re going to try and implement it in a way that has the least amount of friction. Now, as you kind of climb up the hierarchy in terms of, you know, how experienced they are, how dedicated they are, what level or caliber of athlete they are, versus if they’re just Gen pop, that’s going to change, if you’re elite, like super-elite, man, it doesn’t matter, you might spend $500 a week on something, just to get that, you know, a shred of benefit.
Daniel DeBrocke: And that’s a very reasonable, that’s a very reasonable rate of sort of return on investment. Right. But again, it has to be scaled to the individual. So you have to look at adherence based on that. And then the outgrowth of the program or intervention that you’re implementing, has to be predicated on whether or not they can actually adhere to it. And BJ Fogg, the BJ Fogg behavior model essentially, is what I typically tend to use.
Daniel DeBrocke: So you look at a couple of different variables, you look at, whether they’re competent, or they have the ability to execute, and their level of motivation. And then you look at the kind of like a trigger. Now, if something requires a high degree of motivation, probably not gonna be able to do it, if somebody requires a high degree of ability, probably not gonna be able to do it. So again, if I give you a very complex movement to do, like, let’s say, a snatch or clean and jerk, and you’ve never even exercised before, and you have like no ability, man, you’re probably going to suck at it.
Daniel DeBrocke: And you’re not going to do very well because there are a lot of barriers, right? So but if we just say, hey, you know what, let’s just try doing some general exercise, let’s just start by going into the gym and utilizing a couple of machines that are externally stabilized that don’t have a very high skill requirement. And you can kind of progress slowly from there, then they start feeling a little bit more comfortable.
Daniel DeBrocke: They felt Dom’s, they’ve kind of been in the gym environment. Now you can start saying, hey, maybe let’s try some bodyweight lunges, or some bodyweight squats, you know, and then you just kind of build them up from there slowly. So things that have low motivation requirements, low ability requirements to start with. Again, this is going to be contextual, based on the individual, because the low ability is going to be completely different from one person to the next. But then you sort of start to scale it up like that. And that’s kind of how you look at adherence, or that’s how I look at it here. And so
Steve Washuta: anyways, yeah, and then died in here, it works the same way we had a doctor Prolog goes and obesity medicine specialist on talking about, that’s the reason most people fail is because of obviously, our that’s the reason everyone fails is that they can’t adhere to a set diet. And the stricter the diet is, the more complicated it is, and the less likely they are to adhere to it.
But that’s also why somebody like Daniel who’s reviewing things will taper you up, or then taper you down, based upon your level of adherence meaning, okay, you want to get to set goal. If you can adhere to over the course of the first two or three weeks in this particular whatever diet plan, well, then we can step it up a level, but I’m not going to just give you the absolute perfect, quickest way to get there. Because if you can’t adhere to it, it doesn’t matter anyhow.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s funny because people don’t necessarily look at training in that same sense. Like, they won’t say, hey, I want to squat 700. Therefore, let’s load 700 to the bar, and just try for that, you know, but they will try the most extreme diet and nutrition and supplementation regimen with no experience, you know, no past experience.
Daniel DeBrocke: And so it’s kind of funny how that works. But then, even beyond that, I think it’s important to mention that there are undulations and perturbations that happen in day-to-day life that might require you to progress or regress at different rates, like you might do be doing exceptionally well for, let’s say, six months, or even a year. And then you just reach a really rocky time in your life. Let’s say you have a child.
Daniel DeBrocke: So one of my clients actually just had a new baby, this guy is incredibly dedicated, super motivated, like, never misses a beat. And during this time, he’s trying to stay the exact same and keep everything exact the same. So what I’ve actually done is I’ve said, hey, you know what, let’s pull back a day, you know, and then he’s like, I don’t know if I want to pull back a day, but you know, but his sleep was crashed, everything was kind of like, you know, his recovery was going, decreasing.
Daniel DeBrocke: So I was like, Okay, why don’t we condense your training sessions, we can get you in and out and let’s see, like about 4550 minutes instead of having this two hour, two and a half hour like, hard, heavy-duty sessions. So okay, so we started doing that all of a sudden, his recovery has improved. He’s able to consistently train he’s enjoying training now. And he’s doing it all while being able to actually, you know, still manage the new Word child.
Daniel DeBrocke: And I think that’s incredibly important because sometimes people see that as a step back when it’s not necessarily a step back. It’s just you have to undulate, your training just like you would with intensity. Sometimes your lifestyle has to undulate as well. And you might add a day or decrease a day or increase or decrease the difficulty of things. And that’s just how it happens. But it’s not necessarily like, Oh, I’m, I’m doing worse, or I’m failing because of it. Right? It’s all about intentionality and long-term results.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, and both in the nutrition world and how you just described in the fitness world, some of the changes can be counterintuitive. So if you’re like, Well, how am I doing less, and but I’m feeling better. And now I’m lifting more, it’s like, well, that’s just, that’s just how the body works. Sometimes we need a reset. And that’s why we have other metrics that we’re looking at.
So it’s not just how much effort Am I putting in, there’s all of these other metrics that a coach like Daniel is looking at to see, okay, we might have to take something down, however counterintuitive, that seems to make sure that those other things rise.
And that is not something the general population understands from both the lifting perspective and certainly not from the diet perspective, I think that probably the hardest part, for the average fitness coach or personal trainer is just to explain to clients that I know this doesn’t seem right. But we have the metrics here. And we have to adjust something. And you have to just follow the path.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, so one of the things that actually I found out from Dr. Lisa Lewis, was that one of the most notable determining factors of the success of the psychological intervention is the relationship that you have with your clinician. And it’s surprising, but at the same time, not entirely surprising. But the same thing applies to a coach, you know, like, if you don’t believe in your coach if you think your coach only cares about money if you don’t necessarily think that they are being really professional if they’re always late with things if they’re, you know, not really paying attention to detail.
Daniel DeBrocke: if you don’t really listen to you if you tell them you have aches and pains, and they just tell you to push through, and they kind of dismiss you, you know, these are things that sort of then negate that relatedness side of that whole self-determination theory, right. So we’re looking at autonomy, competency, and relatedness and the relatedness component is really important. Because if they can relate to you, if they feel like, you take them seriously, if you if they feel like you care, if they feel like you’re knowledgeable and all that stuff, then they’re more likely to actually learn from you, they’re more likely to take it seriously.
Daniel DeBrocke: And they’re more likely to actually have a feeling or a sense of autonomy, where it’s like, hey, you know what, I do feel like I can bring stuff up to him or her, and they will take it seriously. And they will address my issues. And they will navigate me through these problems and get me to my goals. Whereas if you know, you’re always kind of at odds with the individual, then you know, they create some unnecessary conflict.
Daniel DeBrocke: Right. And so, I think it’s very important to establish that communication right from the outset and encourage it. And then if they seem to be like, maybe kind of fading off and not communicating as much, just hitting them up and being like, hey, you know what, I’ve noticed this, I’d like to kind of reestablish that that communication again, and just get back to normal, and blah, blah, blah, or maybe sometimes you need to pivot, you need to pivot the communication strategy.
Daniel DeBrocke: And that’s perfectly fine as well. But all of those things are really, really important for getting athletes buy in, and ultimately getting better results, because their level of investment just sort of increases proportionally, as least as far as I’ve experienced. My experience goes,
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great point. And just to comment on the business side, it also helps with retaining clients. And you’ll find that there’s a big push in the industry, it’s like, how do I get more clients? How do I get more clients like, be focused on keeping your current clients do a really good job, and word of mouth will spread.
And you’ll have that client for life. You as a personal trainer, or somebody in the fitness industry, I get growth, I get an expansion, I have business models built around a sort of vertical and horizontal, expanding and, but ultimately, you could run a business with like eight people, you could have eight clients who do a really good job. And they’re only trained, let’s say two times a week or something three times a week each.
And maybe you control more than just again, like Danny, like Daniel does more than just their workouts, looking over their diet and sort of long-term health and wellness. But you don’t need 50 clients, you need to do a good job with a small number of clients. And I think people are less apt to do that. They’re too hyper-focused on getting clients and not focused enough on what can I provide for my client that’s so high value that I can sort of grab them for life.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, and a lot of times it’s reflected in the price as well, right? I mean, you look at like, I remember before when I was so I don’t do any in-person training now. I mean, like I work out with some of my athletes, but that’s just because we live and we go to the same gym and stuff like that, but I remember when I was doing in-person training A lot of the times during like, you know, the sales call or whatever you want to call it, that initial consoles, the thing, one of the things that always comes up is price, right? And a lot of the times he’d be like, Okay, well, you know, that is a little bit expensive.
Daniel DeBrocke: You know, I talked to a couple other people, and these guys were saying that they’re, they’re only charging this much per hour. I was like, Okay, so do you make decisions based on price alone? They’re like, no, like, alright, well, what do you make decisions on? They’re like, well, this, this, and this. And then essentially, it’s like, results in relationship, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, availability, like, okay. Like, yes, I’m giving you 60 minutes, and this other person is giving 60 minutes, we are not offering the same product.
Daniel DeBrocke: That’s like comparing a Volkswagen to a Ferrari, you know, they’re both vehicles that will get you where you need to go. They’re not the same, not even remotely, you know. And so, like, when people look at, you know, these high intakes, if you’re going to charge a little bit, then you need to offset that by having a high volume of clients. If you have a high volume of clients, you can’t do really detailed work. I mean, up to a point, you just can’t handle it anymore.
Daniel DeBrocke: No. So you either need to increase your prices and get fewer clients or create some other revenue stream. And so a lot of the times when you see people and you’re like, Oh, that’s a little bit pricey, not all the times, but I’d say a reasonable amount of time. It’s because they actually have a lot of experience. And the service, the offer is proportional or rep, it’s reflected in their price, you know, and you might be like, Oh, wow, that’s expensive.
Daniel DeBrocke: For this. It’s like, maybe, but you’re probably also saving a lot of money by going with this guy for one year, versus going with that guy for three years. You know? And, or, I mean, it’s the same thing where like, you see people spending a bunch of money on these fad diets, and it’s like, Sure, they’re cheap.
Daniel DeBrocke: But how many fad diets are you wasting your money on? And how many registered dieticians could you have just hired, you know, for the six months or a year or whatever, if you had just done it correctly the first time? So I think when you look at that perspective like the price is actually pretty important. And it does tell you a little something. I mean, it can anyways, tell you something about the level of service that you’re you’re getting into. Yeah,
Steve Washuta: I agree. That’s a great point. I think Jim’s, this is a different conversation. But Jim struggle with that, because a lot of times you’ll go to a gym, and let’s say they have 10 trainers on staff, they don’t all price them sort of accordingly, they just say, okay, each trainer, I’m gonna make up a number here is $65 an hour.
And then that trainer makes a percentage based off of their credentials, and their tenure in the industry and all these things. So maybe one trainer makes 85% of that 65. And the other trainer makes 55% of that $65 Because they’re brand new.
But from the client’s perspective, that stinks, because they have to walk into a gym. And there are two different trainers. One is a tenured person who’s got 30,000 hours of experience and knows what they’re doing. The other one’s brand new, but they’re both $65 to the client. Right?
They might not they might be getting different percentages in the background. And I think that’s, that’s where Jim screw up. And that’s where there’s a misunderstanding also in the industry is that, yes, I’m providing you a personal training session, or yes, I’m your coach.
But like, like you said, we’re not providing the same thing I have, I’m selling you, my accrued knowledge over time. I’m not just selling you this hour, I’m selling you again, this crystallized intelligence that I’ve developed, from my reading from my anecdotal experiences with clients, and from all of the things that I’ve learned, I’m giving you this intelligence through my training sessions over time, I’m not just giving you my hour.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, and I mean, a lot of the times you can really tell that in that initial session. So you know, I don’t really do consults anymore. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done it, because most of my work is, is with research as opposed to clients. But when I was doing them, I would get very, very few reservations.
Daniel DeBrocke: Because I think a lot of the times the experience really comes through in how you conduct yourself in that initial consult, you know, the types of questions you’re asking, validating their experience and being like, yeah, absolutely, that’s super common that you followed a diet worked really, really well. But then you weren’t able to sustain it long-term. And there’s actually one of the reasons why.
Daniel DeBrocke: Here’s how, you know, your hunger signaling can be disrupted. Here’s how your environment impacts that. Here’s this, your, and then all of a sudden, you start to give them answers, and you start to explain their problems better than they can. At that point, they’re like, this dude knows what the hell they’re talking about, you know, or girl or whatever, right? Automatically, you kind of are elevated to a level of professionalism that hey, maybe this individual can’t help me. So I think the communication piece is incredibly important.
Daniel DeBrocke: And I think that discussion that you have with them is a great opportunity to show them that difference, you know, and let them be heard, address all of their issues. And then if you do a great job with that, like they, they’re there for the solution, you know, they’re not just coming there to like, waste their time they’re spending an hour with you, or 45 minutes, whatever it might be, they want to leave with a solution. They want to pay you they want to give you their money. A lot of the times, it’s just about you sort of getting out of your own way and letting them do that. Yeah,
Steve Washuta: that’s a great point. I know that you said that. I never really phrased it that way. But yeah, they are there for a solution. And you just have to put yourself in that position. If I’m taking, let’s say, a phone call, or I book a phone call because I see an Instagram ad, they’re like, We make videos, we make these great videos, and we want to do this and I click it.
Ultimately, I want to purchase this product, I want to potentially hire this individual to design videos for me if it comes off sleazy or gimmicky, or it’s one of these things where they’re not telling me the price until the very, very end, and they flip it on you they’re like I cost $16,000 Like, okay, I think I’m okay, then that’s different. But ultimately, you’re right, if they came to you, initially, either through word of mouth, or they found you on the internet, they are seeking a solution.
So it’s, you don’t have to go over the top, be a good listener, let them know what you can do for them. Be honest with them, and let them know what you can’t do for them. But if you have those people in your networking, which we just talked about before, then you can do anything, because you can say, Hey, listen, I, I can help you with A, B, and C, but I know someone who could help you with D and F. So collectively we can get to the root of your problem and get you to your path.
Daniel DeBrocke: Absolutely. And you’d actually be surprised at how many people will give you referrals, ie if you refer them to someone else. So I’ve had individuals come and want to work with me. And I’ve said, Okay, I’ll work with you. This particular individual had an eating disorder and was just coming out of rehab, essentially. And I was like, Okay, I’ll work with you under one condition. Because I do think that I can help you with where you’re at right now.
Daniel DeBrocke: But you need to continue seeing a clinician, and we need to collaborate together. I was like, that’s my one stipulation. They’re like, Oh, I’m not really you know, looking to do that. I was like, Okay, well, you know, what, what I’ll do then is I’ll give you to someone that I know, they’re registered dietician, they’ve got tons of experience, working with individuals with eating disorders, it’s actually one of the areas that they specialize in.
Daniel DeBrocke: And because this person like, specifically was asking for me, and I was like, I just don’t feel comfortable working with you like that, because I want to make sure that you’re getting better. And this is a very serious condition. And the fact that I referred them out, they referred me to people, just because they’re like, Oh, this guy’s got integrity, and like, whatever, you know what I mean? So yeah, like, at the, at the end of the day, you’re there to solve problems, and you’re there to provide a service.
Daniel DeBrocke: And sometimes, like, again, the service that I provided that individual was referring them out, it wasn’t working with me, you know, because again, I knew my limits, but doing that was like, okay, you know, I’d rather make, like, I’d rather be able to, like sleep at night than, you know, make a couple extra 100 bucks. And that’s not knocking on people for, you know, maybe making another decision. It’s just that sort of, it’s an easy decision for me, you know,
Steve Washuta: yeah, I’m with you. In addition to that, just to piggyback off that last point, you also have the effect of looking like you’re somebody important in the community. Again, it’s not just like a facade, It’s not nonsense.
If you are interconnected, people know your name, if you know other people’s names. It’s like, yeah, I can refer you to this registered dietician, I can refer you to this orthopedic doctor.
Oh, I know this neurosurgeon. It looks like we look like you’re having some nerve pain from what you’re describing. I think you should go see this neurosurgeon. He’s really good. He did two different, you know, spinal-related issues with my other clients.
I think it shows a level of, you know, not only that you’re staying within your zone and integrity like you said, but also I’m interconnected. That means I’m important in the community, people, and other people respect me in the community as well.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, and also it kind of takes away the financial incentive that sometimes lingers in the background. You know, he’s also a little skeptical or hesitant to make decisions because they’re wondering about the other individual’s intentions. And especially with you know, fitness, they’re not always fitness just with everything. I guess there are people who are just smooth talkers, you know, who promise a lot but underdeliver, and they’re relatable. They have all of those soft skills.
Daniel DeBrocke: They’re fantastic, and they’re highly marketable, very charismatic, super likable, but then they don’t follow through on the other end. And so there’s always that kind of concern. But if you if you’re transparent about that stuff, then it kind of removes that concern because you’re just like if I can help you greatly, you know, like, oh, A lot of times they’ll say, this is the beginning, like, Hey, here’s what you can expect from this initial consultation, we’re going to do this, this and this, blah, blah, blah, if I feel like, you know, if I feel like we’re good fit, and you feel like we’re a good fit, then we can move forward.
Daniel DeBrocke: If for some reason we don’t, you know, then we can just say, you know, part ways, and I might even, you know, make a recommendation for someone who I think you might be a better fit for. Because ultimately, like, the fit is incredibly important for your long-term success. And that’s really, really critical. Just saying that alone is like, Oh, wow, you know, it kind of like helps people let their guards down a little bit. Because it’s, it’s not bullshit, right? It’s true. Like, you know, and so I think people appreciate the honesty there. And the transparency and again, it just builds up that relationship.
Steve Washuta: I’ve had young, either young trainers asked me before, like, hey, how much should I pay for like referrals? I’ve had like a physical therapist or registered dietician, say, like, let’s work out a deal, like a financial deal. And I’m like, No, that’s not how this works.
Like if you’re if they’re asking that you don’t want to be affiliated with them like this is a health and medical community that you’re you want to start, you want to make sure that they’re doing the right things for your patient.
And that this you’re not counting it doesn’t matter. Like if you refer 10 people and you get one back that’s that is what it is. But like this is this is you working at the behest of your client’s best interest. This isn’t what you like capitalizing from like a financial perspective.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, it’s funny. I don’t think I’ve ever had, I don’t think I’ve ever had that before, don’t think I’ve had anyone ever offer that to me. But either way, yeah, like I don’t like them unless I knew them. And I was like, oh, like, I don’t know how many people I’ve referred to. I guess I’ll shout out a couple of people. So, Dr. Sam Spinelli, I’m not sure if you know him.
Daniel DeBrocke: He was a friend of mine. He works here in Canada as well. Super, super smart dude. He’s a physical therapist. I’ve referred so many people to him. And then locally, I’m living in Calgary right now. I’ve referred a ton of people to a friend of mine, who’s he’s a chiropractor. But very, very bright guy. Really, really intelligent therapist. And, yeah, so his name’s Ray, San Agustin. And he’s, yeah, he’s a clinician here in town.
Daniel DeBrocke: I’ve referred like, I don’t know how many people to over a dozen, you know, and I’ve never like, Hey, tell him that I said to send you you know what I mean? Like, hey, this is a buddy of mine. He’s fantastic. Like, I 100% give my stamp of approval, whatever. He says He knows this shit. You know, he’s, he’s a legitimate professional.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, there’s not like, you don’t have a list. Daniel’s not like, okay, set three to you. How come I come? I only have one and I sent it to you. It’s like not it’s not. It’s not how this works?
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, because I mean, like, it’s like, they’re going there for a reason. And the reason is not to get me money. If I do. Hey, that’s fantastic. But you know what I mean? It’s like, I don’t I don’t worry, you can
Steve Washuta: you can convince yourself that you can have a workaround Daniel, where you are getting money in a sense, because, like, let’s go ahead and say your client has like a back issue that you think is above your paygrade. And you’re like, they probably just need to go to the chiropractor, and someone will see you exactly what’s going on. Maybe I’m just missing diagnosing what’s going on here and the rest is not fixing this issue.
Well, maybe that client comes back to you a week earlier than they would have otherwise. Right? Maybe that would have taken three weeks or more. But now they’re able to come back to you a week earlier because you sent them somewhere else. So essentially, you know, we could convince ourselves, we are in fact giving ourselves money by making sure our clients are able to get back to us as fast as possible.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, yeah, that’s fair, I guess. Yeah, I guess it just I guess it’s just doesn’t really cross my mind to be honest.
Steve Washuta: Let’s talk about nutritional interventions, we’ve kind of already hit on it a little bit. But give me a I mean, you could talk about the sort of the science behind it if there is, but also give me like an anecdote, you know. So you know, if John is one of your clients, and you can tell that things aren’t just going right, in your plan, and he’s supposed to be writing out xy and z in this plan.
But you see, maybe John is posting pictures on his Instagram, that he was at the local burger place, and he’s got two beers in front of them. And he was eating these burgers, but his weight, his goal is weight loss. And he didn’t write any of that down on a sheet. Is this a part of your nutritional intervention? Is it talking to people about things they’re potentially lying about? Or is it a little bit different?
Daniel DeBrocke: In my experience, I don’t generally have people lie to me, okay. And I think a big reason for that is, at least I suspect, is because of the environment that I create initially. Right? I’m not going to point a finger at someone and be like, You’re a piece of shit because you went out with your, you know, your partner and had dinner on your anniversary. You know, like, I take a I try to take a very balanced approach.
Daniel DeBrocke: And again, balance is a spectrum, right? If we look at an individual in the extreme end, like I’m very extreme with the things that I do, my life is incredibly regimented down to 15 minute intervals. And so I don’t expect everyone to be like that, you know, some people expect to be more extreme. So it depends on the individual. And that’s really important. So first things first, you have to know who you’re talking to.
Daniel DeBrocke: But I think the initial environment that I sort of like the patients, I set initial call, like, I’ll actually say, here’s what I expect from you, here’s you expect from me, and I listed all off. Mike, is that clear? Right. So I do that every single call. And, and I think what that does is it creates like, it helps them kind of drop their guard. Because a lot of people especially like this, this is mostly with Gen pop.
Daniel DeBrocke: With more competitive athletes, it’s not as much a thing, there’s not like the same level of shame, or guilt or whatever, regarding eating behavior, and food decisions and things like that, or veering from your diet, it’s a lot more performance-based than it is like, Oh, I’m a piece of shit as a person, you know, sorry, can I swear on here?
Steve Washuta: Of course, yeah, you’re good, you’re good.
Daniel DeBrocke: So that’s been a really big thing to establish initially. But then beyond that, a lot of it is just kind of looking at where the individual is, and then finding appropriate starting points. Because if you find appropriate starting points, you don’t need to worry about all that stuff. And I tend to, I tend to think that it’s a little bit better to try and add things and subtract things from a diet, you know, so what I mean by that is, like, let’s say an individual’s just terrible with dieting, just terrible.
Daniel DeBrocke: They’re way overweight, they’ve never died before. They’ve tried a bunch of Crash diets, but nothing is actually stuck. They don’t know anything about dieting, or nutrition or physiology or anything. So I need to educate this person, I need to empower them, I need to make them more resilient and adaptable to changing environments, there’s a lot of different things that they need to do. Above and beyond just getting them results, right.
Daniel DeBrocke: So look, for low-hanging fruit, I’ll say okay, first, let’s start by creating awareness. What I want you to do is I want you to just write down everything you eat, I want you to write down the portions, you know, you don’t need to wait it out. But just write down like had an apple, I had a bowl of pasta, I had a chocolate bar, whatever it is, just write it down and submit it at the end of the week.
Daniel DeBrocke: Now, sometimes they don’t get all of those, they may be logged like two days. So I say okay, you’ve only logged, let’s say, five to seven days, I want you to log seven days, we’re gonna keep doing this until you log all seven days, guess what, I almost guarantee you they’re going to start losing weight and feeling better, just by simply logging their food. Yeah, because unintentionally, they’re gonna be like, Man, I don’t want to eat a bunch of shitty food and show him. Yeah, so I’m just gonna start cleaning up my diet, you know.
Daniel DeBrocke: And even if they’re not thinking that just the fact that they’re bringing more awareness to their diet, they’re being more mindful about it, inadvertently, in almost every case, will improve their diet quality. Now, they may not lose weight, but you will typically see their diet quality improved. So the food composition, the quality of the foods, the amount of processed foods versus Whole Foods, nutrient-dense foods, things like that really starts to change. So then, let’s say we start there.
Daniel DeBrocke: And this is all hypothetical, right? So we’ll start there. And then once they do that, then we kind of look for the big holes. Now, I already kind of know what the main issues are, because I’ve already asked them to do you know, submit, like a food log if we’re working nutrition previously, but I’m doing this again, to get their behaviors going. And so then we say, Okay, it looks like your protein intake is incredibly low, and you’re not really eating a lot of vegetables or fruits. So instead of saying, I want you to stop eating all this junk food that you’re eating, I say, I don’t care what you eat, if you want to eat chocolate bars all day, go right ahead.
Daniel DeBrocke: And that sounds really counterintuitive, but I will literally tell them something like that. I’ll say, here’s what I care about. I want you to eat X amount of servings of protein per day. Okay, and then I’ll quantify what a serving is. And if again, if they’re inexperienced or dieting, I’ll just say hey, you know, the palm of your hand. If you’re you know, that’s going to be how we’re quantifying actually, precision nutrition does a great job, I like to use that as well, where it say like, okay, the thumb is, you know, a serving of fat handful as a serving the carbs, and then the palm is a serving protein, something very simple like that.
Daniel DeBrocke: And then maybe two handfuls is serving fruit and veggies. So we’ll just kind of quantify like that if they’re not weighing their foods out and being a little bit more precise with things. Then I might just say, you know, okay, let’s just stick with that. Let’s try and add three servings combined, of fruits and veggies a day. Okay? And then we come back the next week, probably not hitting it perfectly, but they are making progress. And then maybe after two weeks, hey, now you’re hitting it perfectly every single day.
Daniel DeBrocke: And I make sure that I actually have like a checklist of all the things they’re doing. And they actually actively check it off every day that they’re doing it. Because when you do that I have like a calculate the percentage. So I’m like, Hey, you were 80% adherent this week. And so I can actually show them because let’s say they’re not seeing results. Let’s say their weights staying neutral. Like, Okay, you were 0% here before. Then the next week, you came up to 50%. Now this week, you’re 80%.
Daniel DeBrocke: And now you’re 100% of your shirt took you four weeks. But now you can actually see where your progress is going. And if you continue this. Then you’re going to start to lose weight. Then you’re gonna start to feel better. And then it just kind of steamrolled. So now they can see and sort of make the connection between their behaviors. And the actual outcomes that they’re looking for.
Daniel DeBrocke: And so that’s a very important part of the check-in as well. And like, I have a different check-in form. Depending on the individual, right. But I have one that’s purely behavior-based and kind of shows them like empirically. How they’re doing and how their progress is actually coming along. And then once they’re there. I’m like, Okay, now lets up your veggies now and start getting your step count up. You know, you’re only getting about 3500 a day. I want you to try and boost that up by about 2000.
Daniel DeBrocke: Okay, and then we specifically set up times. So it’s like, okay, what is your daily routine look like? When can we get this walk? And that’s about a 20 minute walk, when can we get that in? You know, and they’re like, oh, okay, I’m
Daniel DeBrocke: gonna get in at this time. And so I’ll try and kind of habit stack. So it’s like, if they get up in the morning and have their coffee. And they just kind of chill out for a while. Okay, you’re getting up in the coffee, or you’re getting up in the morning normally listen to your podcast. But instead of listening to your podcast. You’re gonna listen to your podcast as you’re going through your walk. Right or something along those lines.
Daniel DeBrocke: And then just building and building and building, they’ve gone from a sedentary individual. No exercise experience, has very limited experience with. You know, fat yo yo diets, they kind of progress says. Hey, I’m walking more, now I’m eating more whole foods. I’m eating more lean proteins.
Daniel DeBrocke: And because I have a higher food volume. Because we keep scaling those behaviors up, then they’re eating less junk food. Just because if you eat eight or 10 combined servings of fruits and veggies a day. Plus, let’s say four or five servings of lean protein a day, you’re not eating the same amount. You’re just gonna be way too full. Yeah, so we’re focusing on adding things to their life. As opposed to subtracting food and saying you can’t eat that.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, it’s subtraction by addition, it makes sense. Exactly.
Daniel DeBrocke: So it’s like at this point, you know, in this hypothetical example. I haven’t even once mentioned don’t eat this food. I’ve never told them, they can’t go out, I’ve never told them, they can have cake, I’ve never told them to rearrange. You know, their food environment at their home, or any of that stuff. That stuff is going to come down the line. But we want to start getting them results and start feeling better. Than they’re like, hey, my clothes are fitting different.
Daniel DeBrocke: My body weight is not down yet. But my clothes are fitting different. They’re actually looser, like, I can actually fit my hand in there, my shirts are baggy now. So it’s like now they actually like Oh, shit. And again, they start making that connection between the behaviors they’re enacting on a daily basis. And the results they’re gonna see in six months, nine months, a year from now, or many years from now. If they’re trying to like lose a bunch of weight or gain a bunch of muscle. Or whatever it might be.
Daniel DeBrocke: And the more that we create those wins on a regular basis. The more they start to experience that that like the sense of self-efficacy. Like, hey, I can do this, I’m learning more. I didn’t know about nutrients before. Now I know about vegetables. I know all about fiber and oboe insoluble fiber. I know about what protein does, I know that calories are the primary determining factor of you know. Weight loss or weight gain, I understand energy balance. I understand how a step count can be very effective at regulating energy expenditure. And standardizing it to a very, you know, fairly accurate extent.
Daniel DeBrocke: And so like, they start seeing themselves growing, and they’re like, oh, shit, I can see it happening. And then it kind of builds up their level of investment in it, right? But at no point is it this radical change. And people are going to, you know, move up and down that scale at different speeds. And they’re gonna be able to take on different levels of complexity in terms of the tasks at different levels. Or different rates, sorry, but each one. Each task is being given to the individual, knowing 100% that they can do it.
Daniel DeBrocke: I’m not gonna give him a task. It’s like really hard and be like, oh, let’s hope you can do it. It’s like, No, I want to give you all of the softballs. I’m just gonna, like, basically give you win after win after win. But again, their wins are also creating a very big outcome. So getting protein in the diet. Getting a lot of fruit and veggies and getting your steps in. Are huge, and they can make a very profound difference very rapidly. Right? So that’s kind of how I structured, very big picture. Sorry, that was kind of a long-winded No,
Steve Washuta: no, that’s great. I think, you know, going back to the initial conversation we were having before this. About understanding your clients, and the intake forms and all that. You know, it’s so important to make sure that you’re doing this based off of their personality.
So, you know, who you just described, was really the struggling general population person, right? All of the factors that you listed with their personality. What they’re going to be struggling with. And that’s where you want to create all these small wins. So to speak, as you described it, right?
Make sure that each day or every other day. They’re able to see like, okay, I can conquer this. I can get over this and I’m doing this and then you use to sort of, you know. Subtraction by addition there. But I think for like an athlete, somebody who is on the other end of the spectrum. They want this like extreme front-end sacrifice. They’re like, I gotta get to this goal. I want to sacrifice everything, right. I’m willing to like, go balls to the wall.
And that’s where someone like Daniel comes in and goes. We got to taper back a little bit here. If your race is in whatever or your competition is in four months. Like, we have to structure it so that you hit your peak at four months. We need to slow things down.
And I think, you know, juggling both of those is very difficult. Especially for someone like you, I only work with the general population. So I only need to have the first half of that method work. I don’t have to do that. How do you work with people who are on the athlete and want to just have that front-end sacrifice?
Daniel DeBrocke: Exact same thing. It’s the like, the principles are going to be the same, regardless of who you work with. Okay, so oftentimes, we get questions like, hey, which exercise should I do? Or which this or it’s like, here’s the principles. Now you can apply them regardless of your context. So it’s the exact same process that I would use for an elite athlete. Because just because you’re elite, you still have limitations. You still have the lifestyle, you still have constraints, you still have abilities, you still have areas where you’re lacking.
Daniel DeBrocke: We just find out what those are. And we implement the exact same process basically, right? What we’re doing might change, the rate of progress. Might change, the objective might change, depending on your goals, you know what I mean? So it’s like, but the basic premise of, hey, we’re going to start with where you’re at. And then progress you at the fastest pace that you can tolerate. Without causing significant distress or anything like that. Like, you know, just because you’re making progress, if your life is like. Turning to shit, you’re miserable, you’re stressed out all the time.
Daniel DeBrocke: There’s no, that’s not good. We want this to be sustainable. But to address the mindset or the mentality of people who are like, I’m all in, it’s like, are you? Because people don’t really know what all inmates like. If you’re an athlete, and you tell me you’re all in. I’ll be like, cool, how much drugs are you willing to take? Are you willing to die? You know, because that’s all in. Like, you look at those West Side, guys, that’s all in, you’re not all in. And I’m not saying that you even need to be all in.
Daniel DeBrocke: But it’s important to understand what you’re actually saying and what you’re getting yourself into. And what you’re, what trade-offs are actually willing to make versus. What you think you’re willing to make. Right? And it’s very easy for individuals to invest a high amount of effort for a short period of time, right? This is, you know, these people, they see a Tony Robbins video, they get this burst of motivation. And they can crush it for like, a couple of weeks, a month, months.
Daniel DeBrocke: You know, like, what do you what are you gonna do after that? Right. That’s why so many people struggle with the simplicity of, you know, system training. Because they can only work in these bursts. But the monotony of the simplistic approach the fundamental. That’s so boring, it’s not fun, you know. But that’s what produces results. And so really, just, again, it comes back to educating people. On what the real process looks like, you know. Here’s how you actually make progress.
Daniel DeBrocke: Because like, when I talk to people about, you know, like, oh, what’s the best approach. And I’m like, the best approach is train super hard, don’t get injured, you know. Recover really well eat enough. And do that for 15 or 20 years. If you do that, I don’t care if you do West Side. Shiko, high frequency, low frequency, Juggernaut cube method, you’re gonna get fucking strong and jacked. You’re going to, I don’t really believe that any approach is necessarily superior to another approach. Provided you’re not just being a complete idiot with your programming and stuff like that.
Daniel DeBrocke: But if you’re generally good. Like, you get tons of elite athletes who follow like shiko. One of the most decorated I think actually the most decorated powerlifting coach in history. Mike to a shirt, that’s not the same as Chico. He has a completely different style, like diametrically opposite to Chico. Then you have everyone in between. Right. And so it’s like, I think it matters a lot less like what specific approach you use. It’s about sustainability. You know, are you putting in the high effort? And are you doing it for enough years to really become high-level?
Steve Washuta: Yeah. And are you dedicated and that goes along with even sports? So you have like, I’m a big mixed martial arts fan, Max Holloway doesn’t spar. So you have one of the greatest fighters right now. And ever at that 145-pound weight class and he doesn’t spar that you have other guys.
That’s all they do is spar. You have certain mixed martial artists. All they do is do powerlifting and the other ones are more about plyometrics. And body weight but they’re all successful in their own right, because why?
Because they’re dedicated because they’re doing this stuff all day every day. And they’re getting better at their craft in different avenues. And like you said, it’s it could be monotonous for the general population. But ultimately, that’s how you build the foundation and long-term habits.
Daniel, this has been great information can you give my audience insight into where they can find you? Let’s talk in two different avenues to so general population and athletes. Who might be wanting to work with you and then personal trainers. Who want to find out more about all of your thoughts and ideologies in the fitness and health industry.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, so all of us is going to be in the same place So I have Instagram at Daniel underscore to Brock. Then I have a YouTube channel, Daniel underscore to Brock. I have Facebook but I’m never on there. So don’t reach out to me there. I’m not ignoring you. I just am never on there. And then I have a podcast called the stack strength podcast. But Instagram is definitely the place where I’m most active. I answer all my DMs that I get personally and yeah, hopefully, you guys reach out.
Steve Washuta: I’ll list the website, the Instagram, and the podcast. Daniel, thanks so much for joining the truly hip podcast.
Daniel DeBrocke: Yeah, man. Thanks for having me. It’s been a great chat.
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.
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