Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Let’s Talk About Stress : Oliver Wood


Guest: Oliver Wood

Release Date: 4/9/2023

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

Steve Washuta: What is the best definition of stress? Can some stress actually be beneficial? If a client is not meeting their goal? Should we personally stress about that? As health professionals? Should we give blanket information about handling stress or always create individual plans for each client? In this episode, we discuss all this and much more.

Welcome to Trulyfit. Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I’m your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101.. On today’s episode, I speak with Olly Wood you can find everything about him at Ali. Oh, lol, why would NZ be on Instagram.

Olly is a fitness and health professional. He works with busy professionals, all he has a multi-pronged approach. He’s not only working in the specific fitness realms but also in the more of a psychological perspective and also nutritional perspective bringing multiple pillars together to make sure that his clients are succeeding.

We talk about that a lot in this podcast about how, although as personal trainers, sometimes the purview of what we do is specifically in fitness. Ultimately, to help your clients whether you’re referring them up to someone else, or whether you yourself are learning more about the other areas of overall health, we have to make sure and understand that all of these things are interconnected with our clients and getting them to their goals, we’re going to have to make sure they’re in a good place.

And that’s why this conversation is going to center the lion’s share of this conversation around stress because that’s something we all deal with. All of our clients have some level of stress. And it breaks down how he helps his clients who are dealing with stress how we sort of define stress talks to his clients about this and overcomes this to get to their goals. It was a great conversation with no further ado, here’s Ali and I, Ali, thank you so much for joining the Trulyfit podcast, why don’t you give my listeners and audience a little background on who you are and what you do in the health and fitness space day to day.

Oliver Wood:  Hey, Steve, lovely to be on. Thanks for having me on. For me, we run an online health coaching company, and we work along the physical, psychological, and digestive stress areas. So it is very much a full-service sort of coaching program. And that’s definitely not just done by me, we bring in certain experts across the board, in those three areas to help our clients through what we look for as our complete health system.

Oliver Wood:   I started in an in-person personal training setting, I was in a big box gym for seven, or eight years. And very much came from that personal training background. And like I’m sure many of your listeners going through that process of personalizing and optimizing training as much as possible, right to really get to the 10th. You know the percentages of how we could get these clients moving forward.

Oliver Wood:  And I got to the point where, you know, they were getting stronger, they were enjoying the training, they knew the science behind what they were doing, but they simply weren’t getting results. So for us, what we looked at was, well, there’s more to this, this than training, right? And there are some prerequisites that are required from sleep and nutrition and general lifestyle and how they conduct themselves is going to make a massive difference for the amount of stress and inflammation that they’re walking through the door with.

Oliver Wood:  So that became a natural progression for us going online because it simply became a case of in order for you to make the most of the training, we need to have these things in place. And for that to be a big focus for us that just became a fixing bigger and bigger problems, right, looking at the other 95% of the pie and making sure that as we build into a whole, you know, healthy human, we’re looking at the full picture and what’s required for them to move online. And that’s kind of how the body reset came about.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, it’s a struggle for personal trainers a lot. A lot of people take too much pressure onto themselves when they don’t get their clients to their goals and will say I’ve been doing everything that looks like they’re in a caloric deficit.

We work out five days a week we do XY and Z. It’s like, well, you only work out with them for one hour, what are they doing in those other parts of their lives, right? If they have an unhealthy lifestyle, if they’re on a ton of medications, if they’re very stressed, which is going to be the central focus of our, our talk today.

You can’t necessarily control all that as a personal trainer, both from a credential standpoint, but really from a time standpoint, right? If you’re working an hour-by-hour basis, you get possibly put in 40 hours a week, and then also have the time to basically be the babysitter of your clients. So it is good to have more. You know, I hate to use the term holistic approach for your clients.

The only reason I don’t like to use the use that term is because people it has a negative connotation in America at least it seems very, quote-unquote, like hippie-ish, to think about the body as holistic. But that is the best term, right?

We have to look at the whole body both from a psychological perspective and also a physiological perspective, and things even externalities outside the body that we’re going to talk about, like stress and things of that nature. You talk about stress, can you give us either a clinical definition or even just an ollie definition of what exactly you talk to your clients about when you’re like defining stress?

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, I think defining what something is allows you to know what lens to look through because I think there’s a big difference between worry and stress, right worry is usually things you can’t control stress is things you can but you’re not doing. Right. So we’re looking through the lens of the list that stacking up all the to dues all the priority.

Oliver Wood:  He’s plural, that you’re not looking after. And typically that stress amounts to a point that there’s just a level of mental chatter, that becomes a very physical reaction that’s getting in the way of how your body operates. And if we’re not managing that, at some degree, that’s going to make a pretty big difference on how we digest food, how we recover, how shallow are sleepers, and certainly is gonna get in the way of that training.

Steve Washuta: Before we get into some of the next maybe more specifics on stress. From an intervention standpoint, do you feel let’s go back to your original days, as a personal trainer? Do you feel that it’s okay to kind of just ask your client? Hey, are you super stressed? Can we talk about your stress? Like how do you have that first initial conversation with your client? When is it appropriate? When is it not? Because I think that’s a hard thing for personal trainers to kind of wrap their heads around.

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, and I think it really comes down to a level of conviction as your own personal your own profession, but also an awareness of where they are on that journey. Because some of them they are hyper-aware of stress, but they don’t know they don’t have the tools to look after it. Meaning that they hate the question because they know it’s a problem and they haven’t sorted it.

Oliver Wood:  The others are not even aware that it’s happening and they use caffeine to wake up in the morning and the using alcohol or something else in order to calm down. And there’s a constant external nature there is so disconnected from their body to even know that that’s a connection. So there are two key camps there that I think are worth bringing it up. And I always would have that conversation around stress.

Oliver Wood:  Wonder five, were you saying, you know, and bringing it to that awareness of their own personal assessment. All right, where’s your energy right now is always a funny one. Because they’ll say as a four out of five, it could be better, you ask them three months later, and they do that was a three, that was a two, that was even a one. And we just get very good, or most of the general population gets very good at feeling crap most of the time. So it just becomes the new normal.

Oliver Wood:  And when we look at it through the lens of stress, that assessment allows us to really have a mohawk, as you said, holistic view of how can we push this person today. And that was something that through that seven or eight year of personal training, and certainly now became a transition of how I conducted my entire session, right? And I became known as that person that was really able to optimize the journey, not because I perfected exercise, right?

Oliver Wood:  We can all get very good at talking about movement, I think that’s an area that you know, I’m sure if you’ve dove deep into that, that space, there’s a big difference between knowing what a lunge looks like in a textbook and what that looks like on an individual that’s, you know, seven foot versus five foot, right, there’s going to be some mechanics that play.

Oliver Wood:  But if you play that same nuance with Okay, well, if that person’s well rested, well slept, doesn’t have a huge amount going on in this week’s projects, the ability to adapt to this week’s workouts is significantly different than if they’re underslept. They just got off a plane from the UK.

Oliver Wood:  And they’re thinking about 10 different things. Right. So I went from a session that was 100% training, to 30% Nutrition, 70% training, and then 50% lifestyle design, and then 50% training. Alright, so over time, it became more and more about that stress and inflammatory piece that allowed us to simply make the most of the session, and I found no reason to slog someone through our full workout for a full hour, if they were walking through the door, that amount of stress and hadn’t eaten, right.

Oliver Wood:  So even some of those sessions, right, you see where people are walking through the door, they’re still very flustered, they forgot their running shoes, whatever. And I would give them my headphones, get them to sit in the corner for five minutes, and just breathe, right? There’s nothing that’s going to happen unless you tune in and pay attention to what’s happening. Or your push your body, your engine something and it’s not going to be productive to you moving forward.

Oliver Wood:  So there’s a lot of considerations as a, as a professional that we need to look at because they’re probably not. And I think bringing awareness to those pieces of the picture. Even if it’s outside your comfort zone, it certainly is outside theirs. But that’s the thing that truly moves the needle forward, rather than just taking them through the new boot camp type session.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, and I love that it’s not just a band-aid, a lot of trainers will have an idea as well what’s called like an update phase, your client comes in, and you’ll say How are you feeling today? What did you eat last? You know, what’s been going on with your body?

Did you sleep well last night? But if those answers are not what we want to hear, maybe we switch the routine, right? So maybe instead of doing the difficult workout, we do a lighter version of the workout, and we take some load off.

But we don’t actually fix the problem, right? We know there’s an underlying problem there, especially if they’ve come in, let’s say, two out of the five days a week for the past three months and say the same thing, right? I’m super stressed.

I didn’t I have been eating bad. And I haven’t been sleeping and I hate my job. It’s like, well if we don’t address the underlying issue, we’re not really fixing the problem. We’re just putting quick band-aids on every session.

So eventually, even if you said like, like you mentioned, if we think it’s outside of our pay grade, well, then we send them up the ladder to somebody else who can potentially deal with that. But it’s still part of our obligation for their long-term health and wellness.

To bring that up front, right, bring that upfront of their consciousness and just say, Hey, listen, just to let you know it, you’ve been pretty stressed for the past month or so. You know, you’ve been coming in here two days a week stressed and I, you know, I’m concerned.

And I want to do what we can to make sure that you’re getting to your goals and this is hindering your goals long term. And I think having that conversation is going to be important for personal trainers moving forward because it’s not something we’re taught.

They don’t teach you that in the textbooks when you get your first certification, how to sit down with a client, that’s it seems above our pay grade. But in my opinion, it’s not obvious, in yours. It’s not because that’s now the primary focus of your business model.

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, and any provision, it’s going to be an assessment of who you’re working with. And whether it’s a park you form, and you’re finding out their past injuries and medications. That should be part of that. Where’s your stress? How’s your What are you? Like? Where’s your fulfillment? In your work? You’re asking the question, you’re worried about the answer before you’ve asked it.

Oliver Wood:  And I think looking at that thirst just allows you to get a full assessment of the person you’re working with. And I think an assessment of, you know, if you’re not a nutritionist, or you’re not a psychologist, it doesn’t mean you don’t ask the question, you just an assess it to what degree is this coming through.

Oliver Wood:  And I think in any profession, when you start to realize that there’s a lot of gray in those areas, it’s a spectrum, right for To what degree to not kind of work this too with this up to, and then where does a professional come in, it’s not black and white, if I don’t talk about it, or they seek a psychologist, right? There are going to be some steps in between just an assessment of the person you’re working with.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, we can sort of use the Socratic method and just ask the questions, and get it out in front. So that they understand what’s going on, right? You don’t have to give explanations, you can just say, so what do you think is going on? It’s making you stressed? What do you think is hindering your workout?

What do you think is affecting your sleep long term, I just get, get them to start to get those wheels turning for lack of a better term, and say what maybe they are thinking subconsciously or they’re, they’re sort of pushing down out loud to you, so that they can now digest that and deal with it.

And I think that’s, that’s, that’s great information out of you. And I hope that personal trainers, again, if they, if they think it’s outside their wheelhouse, they send it up a ladder, but they don’t, they don’t allow that client to come in for three or four or five months, not meet their goals.

All the while everybody knows both parties know that there are so many underlying issues that need to be dealt with. And that essentially, you’re wasting your time and they’re wasting their money by you meeting every day, or every other day for an hour and having them you know, 90 90% of their lifestyle that is also incorporated with health and fitness is going in the wrong direction.

And you’re both wasting your time. Now, with that being said, we talked a little bit about it. But is there any other I guess you would call general prescriptions to help people with stress? What is the first or second thing that you tell people when they say, Hey, listen, I just have general stress with children and work and life and finances? What are some tips and tidbits that you give clients?

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, clarify what the issue is, if it’s everything, it’s very hard. So if it’s a moving target, you don’t really notice that if there’s one particular thing that’s coming through, again, you’re just asking questions to clarify. And you don’t need to be.

Oliver Wood:  Again, I’ll use the version psychologist as a tool to simply ask questions, you can be asking that as a friend at a bar, you don’t need to have the certification, but you can choose to use that information in between sets to ask what they do on the weekend, or you can actually have that conversation of like, how are you feeling?

Oliver Wood:  What’s going on? Right? And if that stress is coming through, you don’t have to fix it. I think, especially as men, we’re already asking the questions to fix the problem.

Oliver Wood:  But when you can ask a question, an open-minded way, or an open-ended way. It allows them to simply assess what’s coming through. And clarity sometimes is the best you can work with. And simply that awareness of, you know, you’ve just I want to Steve, over the last couple of weeks, you’ve started to tell me that your work stress is really coming through.

Oliver Wood:   And if I can tell you anything about the clients I work with, there’s there are the clients that can find it within a particular time period, because I know that you’re busy right now.

Oliver Wood:  And it’s not to tell you to not work. But is this going to be a four-year thing, or is this a set three-month project, if it’s a three-month project, I can work your training around it to make sure that we’re just simply not going backward, and we’re maintaining your current health level.

Oliver Wood:  But if this is something you’re not aware of, and this is just the new normal, then we’ve got to reassess what we’re actually looking for here because I cannot help you move forward in a weight training environment. If this is just how you live your life, and you don’t have these anchors, these non-negotiables in your day, and you’re just leaving everything on top of you. Alright, and I think that’s a, you know, moaning dog analogy that most people use as people were in a fair amount of pain, and they moan about it.

Oliver Wood:  They’re not in enough pain to actually be motivated to change, and simply clarifying that Hey, Steve, you’ve been complaining about the same thing for three months? Do you think it’s time for something to change? are you just happy living the way you are? I haven’t asked them to change anything.

Oliver Wood:   I’ve simply reflected it back to them as to Is there a problem here? Right. And I think that conversation itself is just look, I’ve been working with you a little while I’ve got your best interest in heart. And I want to make sure that you’re making the adjustments outside here to make the change.

Steve Washuta: Yeah. And I think people will ultimately appreciate honesty. So if you do get into those tough conversations, and let’s say you have a client who’s maybe drinking three or four days a week, a little bit too heavily, and it’s affecting their overall goals. Their goal is let’s say weight loss.

You know, eventually, you say hey, listen, I know we’ve been struggling I know we do these measurements. I know you’ve been asking me, Steve, why do you think I haven’t gotten here and I have to be honest with you, you’re drinking three or four days a week, and this, this is going to slow our goals down, I’m not telling you to stop, I’m just telling you that we’re not going to get to where you want to be with this level of drinking because it’s affecting your sleep.

It’s affecting potential, your hormones, and all these other things up and down the ladder. It’s not just the caloric intake of the alcohol, you have to sort of explain it from a scientific perspective, too, because sometimes they just don’t understand, right?

Sometimes the clients don’t know the questions to ask, they go, Oh, I’ve had so many clients say something to this extent, to me, I’m sure they have to you before to, Oh, I thought I have vodka and water, there’s no calories in that.

Right? It’s like, okay, okay, then you have to go down this whole thing. So no, alcohol actually has calories, right? So seven grand propellers, alcohol. And then in addition to that, there are so many other forces that are now coming down the pipe after you’ve taken that alcohol, like I just mentioned, potential sleep, or lack thereof, due to the fact that alcohol is in there, your livers being overworked, if your liver is working on, you know, breaking down the alcohol, it’s not doing other things it’s supposed to do, and so on and so forth.

So I think sometimes it’s a naivete. And we have to bring those conversations up, just so that we can, you know, see all the cards, so to speak, and then have those difficult conversations and a more scientific approach.

Oliver Wood:  And you’re looking at it through the lens of just simply stating facts. You know, I think when we, I think many personal trainers, and I’ve certainly had this assessment where I became worried of those measurement days or those assessment days, right? And I’m like, Well, if I’ve done everything I can on my side, how is that my concern, they should be coming in with this as an honest chat about how we can move forward.

Oliver Wood:  And if the training been going well, it’s like, Steve, what else is missing here? How can we make this better? And they know in the back of your head, there’s that little white elephant being like you’re drinking every night? Or, you know, you’re still working till 10pm? Right. And it’s just a conversation of the other outside factors.

Oliver Wood:  And that’s why finding that balance between the day-to-day feelings and relationship has to be matched with some level of effects, right? Is it going to be Wait are you going to go a little bit deeper into body fat measurements and strengthen our the areas because that allows us to simply put an assessment over time, rather than the, I think I’m feeling better, I think my clothes are feeling better, you know that that conversation can work for a certain amount of time.

Oliver Wood:  And I think a lot of personal trainers rely on that to make sure they can get an extra three months out of their client, that’s not getting results. But if you truly want to help the person, and you truly want to be known as a personal trainer, or a fitness professional that is getting results for their clients, we need to make sure that we’re bringing the assessment up, we’re having the hard conversations. Otherwise, you’re simply an underpaid and underskilled psychologist.

Steve Washuta: Good point, I have never heard it put like that. But I certainly echo those thoughts. Now, on the other end of the spectrum, do we sometimes focus too much on stress? Is it overkill? Are people giving bad information about stressors? Or at least information that you slightly disagree with?

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, I think for me, it’s just nuanced. You know, if I sat on a beach for three or four days, it’d be nice. But by the third or fourth day, I’m going to get to a point where I’m feeling a bit fidgety and I need something to do, right. Not everyone’s wired. That way, they probably could live on the beach for the rest of their life. But typically, if you’re working with a high-level professional executive business owner, they’re probably wired that same way.

Oliver Wood:  So telling them to not stress at all is like telling a fish not to swim in the water, right? There’s going to be an awareness of actually a comfort zone and a sweet spot where there needs to be a level of stress to feel like there’s growth, there’s resistance, there’s a challenge, right? That’s one thing that I think most humans, hopefully, all but most, are in a position of seeing progress.

Oliver Wood:  And if we don’t have progress, we don’t have something to work towards, then we generally start to feel pretty depressed, we feel lost, we feel like there’s no level of direction. So a level of stress, I redefine as being something that’s a good thing to live with challenges. And that’s probably you know, what you’re seeing with a level of weight training as well, you create a certain level of stress on the muscle in order to get stronger. And I think that’s required in life.

Oliver Wood:  And I think when you look at stress as a threshold, not a level, it allows you to redefine what components of stress are beneficial, and what parts are detrimental. Because essentially, you know, I’m sure many of the fitness professionals listening to this, or even people that are looking to make changes, they’ve probably had clients that are only doing yoga, right, and they’re doing lots of relaxing techniques, and they’re calm, and they’re doing all the things and like, mate, you just need to work, right? Like there is no strength, there’s no mobility, there’s just passive flexibility here.

Oliver Wood:  And there’s zero strength in between, there’s probably a huge benefit for you diving into a muscle-building space or a contraction of muscles at a very minimum in order to get more results. And it’s simply increasing that threshold. If all you’re doing is focusing on calming, distressing, and always trying to get rid of stress in your life. You’re using a very limited range of what’s really happening in life. And I think it’s the same as if you’re trying to optimize your gut you’re trying to improve your health.

Oliver Wood:  The goal is not to remove toxicity or toxins from the world entirely. It’s never going to happen. It’s to build up a level of resilience and build up an awareness of what toxins you can remove from food, drink, or otherwise. But an awareness of it’s very much going to be a manageable threshold.

Oliver Wood:   And then if we can bring that down to your body tolerates the parabens and the general toxins that we are exposed to on a data level, we rebuild that gut lining, we rebuild a level of immune function to tolerate it. And I think it’s the same as stress.

Oliver Wood:  So a long-winded way of saying stress is a threshold, not a level, which means it’s something that can be trained. The first instance is, of course, finding the big levers that need to be pulled in order to reduce overall stress. If we are chronically stressed 616 hours a day, that’s going to be a problem.

Oliver Wood:  But being able to redefine it so that it’s not the problem, it’s an opportunity to find your sweet spot in an area where you thrive, that becomes a conversation where you’re actually going to connect with a busy professional, rather than telling them they need to de-stress and go live on the beach.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, and you know, you’re speaking to the toxins, I know that certain toxins kind of promote like a hormetic response in our body, which in turn makes us stronger. And if we give, like a weightlifting analogy, when I pick up a threaded barbell, enough times, eventually I start getting calluses on my hands, which I have, right. But if I go past a certain threshold, as the term you used, well, then I’m gonna rip those calluses opened, my hands are going to be bloody and I can’t use them, right.

So we have to find that line of sort of, you’re not quite at diminishing returns yet. And it’s still appropriate for you. And I think we shouldn’t take that away from clients, too, you’ll see some people who tell the clients Oh, you could eat whatever you want, you could do whatever you want, we’ll take it easy, we’ll do this by your clients not being able to push past that stress, they don’t get you to know, that high from actually knowing that they achieved something, and they and they gave something up, and they sacrificed to get to where they are and got to their goals.

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, we’ve got two general personalities here, right, we’ve got the stress addiction sort of specialists where they just find ways to be more stressed. And they’re used to being in that space. And that seems to be the only way that they have energy, right. And you see it with a busy professional, that the only way that they get shut down is by having a deadline, right.

Oliver Wood:  And when they have that they’re able to really focus, and they do their 10-hour day, and then they go to a spin class or they find a way to get you know, sweaty and afterward where for them, it’d be like, dude, just go for a walk, like create some pause in your day, and you’ll benefit.

Oliver Wood:  And that’s bringing that Thresh you know, that’s a case of the simply I think connecting the body with the head again, right, just the awareness of let’s just tune in a wee bit more, because you’re running a million miles an hour, and you’re not taking the time to tune in.

Oliver Wood:  The other side of that is the high fuel to stress might dude, you don’t even work, right, like, let’s get to a level of building this up. So I think there is two levels, because there’s someone who is, okay, we need to build this threshold, because you’ve suddenly labeled any stress as bad, you have a very low threshold.

Oliver Wood:  And this is where something like weight training or a level of creating some level of stress and stimulus can be super beneficial. All right. Whereas, you know, it depends on what type of person you work with.

Oliver Wood:  But that tends to be two categories. And it really becomes a, you need to know the person before you have the conversation around stress. Because if you have the I need to stress you more conversation to the stress addict, they like Yeah, but it’s not going to fix it, right. Whereas if you have it to the person that needs a little bit of stimulus, and you package it in a way that allows you to build this up slowly, you’re ultimately finding a middle ground for both of those individuals.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, I’m sure there’s a lot of people listening who are immediately thinking of clients who fit into those particular categories because we all have that. And it is important, like you said. To make sure that the information you’re not giving is not just blanket information on stress. The people who are too stressed, do what you can to sort of calm them down. Back them off of what they’re doing.

And the people who think that doing one thing, they don’t work all day, they you know, they show up and like a piece of machinery that they plan on using for their workout happens to not be there and they’re throwing a fit, you have to calm them down and understand that, hey, I’m ready. I have a backup plan.

As a personal trainer, it’s okay, I have an I have some principles here we don’t just need to work on one particular piece of equipment, I’m gonna get you to your goals anyway, and calm them down. Speaking about principles and ideology and lifting.

It sounds like I’m just going to put words in your mouth, you tell me if I’m wrong, based upon all the things that you say, I doubt that you have a specific ideology around lifting. I’m sure you’re not saying everyone needs to use the kettlebell, everyone needs to do CrossFit. I’m sure you have particular principles, and you fit the equipment into those principles to get clients with their goals.

But tell me, you know, when you sit down with a client and have an assessment, and this is just from the fitness perspective, okay, what exactly do you think that you’d be using to help them get to their goals on a regular basis? Are you more apt to use something like a TRX? Suspension Trainer? body weights, dumbbells? Or is your answer going to be it really does depend on their specific goals?

Oliver Wood:  Right? For me, I think all the equipment is kind of irrelevant because it’s simply just a tool to contract a muscle right? At the end of the day, the goal should be contracting muscles more effectively. And I think the rule that blank you know, blanket rule overall, that there’s no blanket rule, but I think an assessment that allows us to look through the lens of we work with a very specific type of client at a very, very specific time in their life.

Oliver Wood:  Right, right, so they’re in their mid-40s or 50s, they’re noticing their body slowing down and things aren’t working like it used to. So from an exercising patient, if we just put exercise side, if we just look at that component, they’re either not exercising at all, or they’re exercising really, really hard on the wrong stuff. Right. And typically, that’s more on a cardio space.

Oliver Wood:  And I think where the issue comes through is that we’re focusing on you know, so many people are focusing on more effort externally, right, lifting dumbbells up and down, running more distance, whatever that might be. But there’s very little consideration to the contraction and stimulus to the body in order to create a result.

Oliver Wood:  So we would certainly look at a foundation of weight training as being a core component of improving body composition. If we’re just looking at the body composition lens for that particular audience in their mid-40s. And 50s. They’re typically an audience that either is worried of weight training has never done it before. The way that they’re doing it as again, very external focus on the dumbbell in front of them.

Oliver Wood:  So that assessment of simply tuning in, which is, again, very similar to how we would approach nutrition, sleep, and General, conducting their lifestyle, is making sure that they’re tuning into the contraction and the ability to progress that over time. So whether that comes through a cable or dumbbell or barbell. There’s going to be an assessment of how your body moves, it’s not a case of forcing your body into a particular machine, right?

Oliver Wood:  So how Ollie’s move is gonna be different to Steve, and how is Steve’s move is gonna be different from Cindy, right. So looking at that space, allows us to simply focus on what your body need. Rather than a particular machine that you’re emotionally attached to. Because if we can build that together, I think that makes a really big difference.

Steve Washuta: And I would start that. You mentioned that people in their 40s, and 50s. The vast majority of the demographic that you’re working with will typically come in one of two ways, right? So you have the people who are not exercising at all. And they find that their body is slowly withering away. And the of the other people who are exercising. Let’s just say, let’s just use the word improperly. And typically, that will be of the ilk of someone doing too much high intensity.

Just always pushing it right. Saying I am gonna work out two or three days a week. But all I’m gonna do is workout as hard as I possibly can. Do you find that those people are the people who are the stressors. Usually the people who are highly stressed, and they say. I just need to go on a four-mile run as fast as I can. Because I only have this time, or I gotta go to this orange theory class three days a week. And just all about the calories, I have to make sure that I burn as many calories as I can. How do you deal with those people who are so addicted to that sort of training style?

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, it’s, it’s a really, it’s actually quite a concern of mine in the space of fitness right now. Because what we’re seeing is there’s so much gamification of exercise. There’s so much an entertainment factor, that nobody has a clue what their body is actually doing. Right? They’re just looking at the screen in front of them and saying. I’m going to look at my heart rate and say that that’s good. What’s more nuanced than that? Are you contracting the right muscles? Or are you bashing joints?

Oliver Wood:  And when we go through that process of simply tuning in and taking a step back, I’m going to assume that you enjoy the things that you’re good at, right? What tends to happen is we are not where we feel a client explained this to me the other day. He feels like an alpha in the boardroom.

Oliver Wood:  And he doesn’t feel like an alpha in the gym, right? So what happens is, he finds some way to feel better, right. He’s gonna find a way to do the orange theory class. He’s going to find a way. To make sure he is looking at a big fancy screen of riding through the mountains. Rather than actually tuning into what his body is doing. And there’s a place for that, right? I think you still need to enjoy exercise at some point. But I think you need to enjoy the result just as much.

Oliver Wood:  And what’s happening is we’re finding that you know, clients are doing before they’re joining a working with us, they’re generally doing 510 15 years of circuit classes, and they look exactly the same or worse than they did when they started, right. They enjoy the class, there’s a social element. Fantastic, but what are you actually doing to get the results you’re after?

Oliver Wood:  And I think that’s an assessment of, you know, usually when an individual comes to work with a fitness professional, it’s because they finally go and hang on, I actually want results, I don’t want to just jump up and down, right? And when you look at that. Through that lens, you need to be the one that takes the assessment seriously around. Like what’s going to work for you as an individual. Rather than how do we fit you into another class full of 40 people jumping up and down.

Oliver Wood:  And that really is tuning in conversation. So, you know. I think it is just an awareness of there’s a concern over all. That we are becoming as plugged into the system as possible. And it’s completely getting in the way of us listening to our own signs and signals of our body. And we focus a ton on gut health and awareness of really. How you’re digesting foods. How you’re conducting your day. How you’re adapting and responding to stress, right?

Oliver Wood:  Because there’s a significant difference. I’m sure you find the same state if you put yourself back. Into the space you were in five years ago. You’d be like, This is so relaxing. How am I like at all stressed with what’s going on. Compared to what I’m working with now? Yeah, there’s it’s a new level, right? It’s a threshold that I’ve built up over time. I am used to a new level of stress. And I think just looking at that through the lens of most people don’t deal with that stress particularly well.

Oliver Wood:  And they just disconnect mind-body, it’s just a hit on top of meat suit. Right. And until we take the time to tune into that process. We’re working with a very unaware human. And I think that’s a huge it’s a big part that is potentially overdone. It said a lot. But I don’t think many people listened it’s just there needs to be an awareness of health. Until you tune in that becomes a process. Where you’re having to do the things rather than wanting to do the things. Right? it needs to be a shift.

Oliver Wood:  And I’m sure for you, Steve, you actually probably looked forward to a certain type of workout. Because you know how good you feel afterward, most clients are just going. I have to do this to get the result. And until you make that shift. And you actually find something that fits into the person you want to become. And you’re just taking out those actions day to day. That’s gonna make a significant difference on how long you stick to it.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, it’s harder for the general public to do this. So we as personal trainers have to do this, sometimes we have to audit the programs that we have. With our potential clients and say, this is the right program for them. Or even audit their entire sort of whatever they’re doing, and health and fitness.

So maybe they’re only coming to you once a week, maybe they’re going to Orangetheory twice a week. Maybe they’re going on long runs another day of the week. Eventually have to sit down with them and say. Hey, listen, I know that you enjoy this.

But let’s be honest, this is your goal, right? Maybe your goal is to put on 12 pounds of muscle. And all you’re doing is this intense cardio. Because that is how you disassociate, right, you have a long day at work. And you just want to disassociate.

So you go on these long runs, and you tell yourself, you’re being healthy. But really, you have knee and ankle issues from the constant repetitive pounding. And we’re not getting to your goals of putting on 12 pounds of muscle. Because you’re in a caloric deficit because you’re burning so many calories going running, right. So this is a common thing that happens. I think, amongst personal trainers is that their clients do things outside of the space of working with them.

And maybe they’re afraid to kind of have the conversation about what they’re doing outside of there. But ultimately, if we’re worried about their long-term health and wellness. We have to say. Hey, listen, like I know you didn’t necessarily ask me to talk about this with you. But you know. Youre when we’re here, one on one, you know, what you do outside of this, affects our goals.

And we have to have the conversations about what you’re doing and make sure that everything comes together. What I find is, you know. The old the older population is a little bit easier to convince of this. Because typically they’ve had an injury or something, right, so they’re ready to change. So the men that I work with who are 50 and 60 love using the Pilates Reformer. Because they get a little bit more flexible for golf, and they’ve gone through injuries.

So there may be a little bit more hesitant to pick up heavy weights. But convincing a 25-year-old that. Maybe they shouldn’t just move in one plane of motion and lift heavy weights is a difficult thing to do. Yep. So lastly, Here, give me a full rundown of your business model. I know you talked a little bit about this in the beginning, but I know how it came together. But tell me about the intricacies. Because I’m always interested to hear and I’m sure my listeners are too.

Putting together something that really hasn’t been done before doesn’t seem like there was a blueprint. You just said, Hey, this is important. So I’m going to pull these pieces together. And I find the most successful people do that, right? There’s not there’s no blueprint. They’re just a little trial and error. And they’re, they have an idea, and they’re passionate about it. So tell us a little bit about how that all came together?

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, well, it’s absolutely an iterative process. It started off with a simple set of videos and guides that allowed them to understand the prerequisites. That were required for a certain individual to get a result right for a particular individual. That I work with as a busy professional in their mid-40s and 50s. And when we took those considerations into account. We started to understand what parts worked. What parts didn’t, what parts, they needed, and focus on what parts were less relevant.

Oliver Wood:  And I think that allowed me to, you know, as a fitness professional, at the end of the day, most people know that they need to eat more and eat better food, right. So eat better food and generally move more contract muscles better, right. The general concept is there. They can buy a $7 a-month app. Or they can work with a busy professional, fitness professional in order to create a personalized plan for them. So what you’re looking for is not just accurate information, you’re trying to find relevance.

Oliver Wood:  And I think that’s a significant shift when you start to look at how you’re packaging your service, is making sure that there’s so much information out there. That is not the goal. The goal is to make it accurate. And then relevant for the age and stage of that individual. So knowing that you’ll I’m working on it sounds like you’re a fan of niching down to a particular audience. So that you really know you can help this person as best as possible, rather than just anyone.

Oliver Wood:  And when you look at it through that lens, you can start to realize that okay, well, you’re focusing on Step Seven before you’ve actually done steps one, two, and three. So if we adjust the order of this, we can actually get more out of your body. And make sure things are operating well. Rather than simply just throwing as much shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. And when we take the time to look at it in that order. It allows us to build awareness of ultimately a sequence of steps that become your method.

Oliver Wood:  Alright, and that’s an iterative approach over time. I have now worked with over 3000 clients in a one-on-one setting. To understand what that looks like for this particular type of individual. That’s not just the general population, that’s busy professionals and business owners in their mid-40s and 50s.

Oliver Wood:  So going and then there’s a whole nuance of menopause and understanding what that looks like through perimenopause and menopause and understanding where to start what to focus on first, right so that absolutely is an iterative process of just finding out okay, this worked well.

Oliver Wood:  This was too early. And now we get to the point that we like we know what’s happening. In about two months for you because you’re gonna go this through this. That’s the next step. And then we need to do this otherwise, you’ll feel like things are, you know, not working, right.

Oliver Wood:  So when you have that level of confidence and conviction around how you approach, transformation, and whatever version that looks like for you, then it becomes simply a system of applying that to their particular lifestyle in a way of these variables here at play.

Oliver Wood:  But there are also things that are constants that we know are true. And when you’re able to define the person that you work with. And the sequence of steps required to get them the result. They’re then paying you for speed and certainty. Which is what you can’t get through, you know, a $7 app, right. And when we create that, that’s the level of white glove service that we’re generally after.

Oliver Wood:  If we’re going to simplify that model for you, this awareness of where we start, is we go through what we call our four method, our reset for us, it’s very much just simplifying, where to start, what are the habits that are required for you to start to build some momentum, if we look at it through the lens of sleep and energy that allows us to really bring awareness to how you feel on a day to day basis, right?

Oliver Wood:  It is bringing awareness to just how the ultimate awareness, then itself is going to take you from just focusing on the external goal. Which by the way, if you just focus on a goal. It doesn’t get you any closer. What are the actions required to get you there?

Oliver Wood:  Once we have that we actually do quite a bit of deep dive with our repair phase, going into the bloodwork understanding what’s happening behind the scenes, and looking at it through a lens of what are those key biomarkers that we need to address? What are the organs that we need to support? How do we make sure the body is truly functioning at a high degree. So R one and R two for us is very much a front loading healthy. Actually getting your body back on your side.

Oliver Wood:  I believe one issue for a lot of people is that they are so focused. That on the fat loss right away. That it’s calorie deficit start from day one. I’m like, Well. You are stressed. You’re not sleeping, and nothing else is working. Why are we starting there? Right, we’re running on fumes.

Oliver Wood:  And this is an awareness I’ve had from you know, being in phases of dropping body fat building muscle, going to the extreme of him doing bodybuilding shows, and doing quite well on the space is there was a massive difference between what I did in my first and second prep to what I did my sixth and seventh, right.

Oliver Wood:  And that awareness of being able to build up the amount I could consume over a certain period where I was having 4000 6000 8000 calories a day. And then I dropped down to 5000 calories, and then I dropped body fat, right. Like I’m dropping body fat at 5000 calories a day. So that starts to give you an awareness of how much you can build the engine. You can build that metabolic rate so that you’ve actually got something to work with.

Oliver Wood:  I think so many people were so under-fueled and under-eating it. Trying to force a calorie deficit when they have no foundation in place. So that’s something we do very differently that allows us to look through the lens of you know. Hence why it needs to be not just a training approach, but we’re looking at it through mindset. We’re looking at it through that digestive capacity to look at the full model. Once we build out one or two. Then we can really have a conversation around that quality and quantity piece going through our restore and reinforce phases.

Steve Washuta: How do you have the conversation around medication? With your clients? I imagine that’s a difficult one, right? You’re looking at their labs, you’re looking at their goals. And maybe they’re on a medication that you have a strong suspicion is causing an issue, right?

They, but you’re fighting against, you know, the quote-unquote, expert, who told them to be on this medication? And maybe you don’t want them to be on that? How do you initiate that conversation? How does that go down?

Oliver Wood:  I just asked what do they call? And they’re like, inevitably, they say, I don’t know. Right now it’s like, okay, well. It might be good to know that you’ve got a prescription to be on this thing. But it’d be really nice to know that is this something you’re on for life? Is this something that you’ve got a game plan to come off?

Oliver Wood:  And this is a conversation that you’ve had with your medical professional, or whoever has put you on this drug, especially with our clients in America, I think that’s worse than most places in the world, is I’ve talked to five different experts, and they’re on five different drugs that all countered counteract each other, right? So that awareness has been like, well, who’s your main. Your main point of contact. Who really had a conversation about this to make sure that these are truly something you need to be on?

Oliver Wood:  Again, at the end of the day, we need to be in scope, we need to make sure that we’re in the right spot. But I think simply again, like the stress conversation, are we having the conversation? Do you know what you’re on these four? Have you had a conversation about how you would get off them? Or is this truly something we can do to look at a nutritional and lifestyle element. Alongside your medical professional. In order to actually create a plan to get off it? Right.

Oliver Wood:  And I think that’s a real concern, or, again, it’s clarification as their coach, I’m simply asking how we can get the best results for you. And if you’re talking to five different experts, and they’ve never communicated with each other. I’m assuming this is probably not the best-personalized plan for you. Alright, so I think that’s, you know. Where we would start. Hey, I know that these three supplement these three drugs are something you need to stay on.

Oliver Wood:  But there’s another team here, that I have no idea what they’re doing. And I’d like some clarification of what’s actually going on. If you have that conversation with a doctor. I think it’d be really beneficial for you more than anyone. To make sure we have a bit of a plan moving forward.

Oliver Wood:  And if we can work around it, we can help and assist this process. If we have a plan that I can work with your professional. In order to help assist in any sort of recovery component here. Then let’s start there, but we need to at least have a need to have that conversation.

Steve Washuta: Although this has been a great conversation. I appreciate your time when you tell my audience where they can find everything about you. Let’s say a personal trainer or someone in the fitness space who wants to reach out to you directly.

Maybe they have questions about what you do and your business model. They want to do something similar. Or maybe it’s somebody on the other side general population. Who wants to work with you. Or ask questions concerning their health.

Oliver Wood:  Yeah, for us, we put out a ton of free content, I think we’re really shifting how people think about nutrition beyond simply calories in calories out, or how they adjust the model to work in their favor and making sure they’re getting the body back on their side.

Oliver Wood:  So whether you’re a fitness professional trying to improve your service, or whether you’re an individual trying to improve their own health and make sure that they’re looking at the right steps for them, I think there are three main platforms.

Oliver Wood:  One would be Instagram, probably the easiest social media platform just to, you know, catch up on the short form content that we put out in regards to thought-provoking ideas of focusing on the right steps. If you’re wanting to go through a bit more of a sequence. Step-by-step process of getting your health back on your side. go to our main website : , and you can go through our five-day challenge either male or female, to know where to start and what to focus on for you.

Oliver Wood:  And then lastly, if you’re more of a podcaster, you like this more long-form content than again, just search your body reset on Spotify, or E major, major platforms. And you can go a little bit deeper into some of these sorts of deeper training.

Steve Washuta: I guess today’s monopoly word. Thank you so much for joining and Trulyfit podcast.

Oliver Wood:  Thanks, man,

Steve Washuta: it was really really great jump on always great talking to another person’s professional. Asking the questions that we know are rampant in the industry and being able to give you a different response.

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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