Guest: Brittany Noelle
Podcast Release Date: 3/12/2021
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Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.
Steve Washuta: Welcome to the truth fit podcast. I’m your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101 on today’s podcast. We have Brittany Noel, National Academy sports medicine certified personal trainer, former D1 collegiate athlete, you’re in 10210 at UCLA, she has a fantastically reviewed book called weight training for women. She runs her entire online virtual business through an app that is going to talk about and she just has a really good grasp on how to run your business virtually. So get ready for a lot of good tips on here, with no further ado: Brittany Noelle. Welcome to Trulyfit. Let’s give the listeners a little bio here on your fitness background, how you started in fitness and what exactly it is that you do currently in fitness.
Brittany Noelle: Sure, so I pretty much been an athlete my whole life. That’s kind of the standard story I feel like I tell. But what made me a little bit unique is that I went to UCLA, I ran track, I did the 100 and the 200 meters. And I also suffered from a lot of injuries. That really inspired me to learn more about the body. I got really into physical therapy, I started working as a physical therapy aide and then thought that I was going to go on to be a physical therapist, but I actually got really into weight training because I had to be in the gym for track and field.
I found myself getting stronger and being able to be more powerful, which I really liked. Then people would ask me for advice about weight training while I was in college. After I graduated, I became a personal trainer, thinking that I would sort of sharpen my skills in preparation for being a physical therapist, and I liked training so much that I just stayed in the space. So I’ve been in that space now for almost 10 years. And now I do strictly online personal training. I migrated my business from being an in-person business to strictly online a little over a year ago.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, you do hear that story a lot. Obviously, athletics leads us into personal training for multiple reasons, not only because during athletics, you start to understand sort of like Kinesiology and stretching and, you know, recovery, and all these different things that lead into personal training. But you know, to go off something else you said, I think it’s interesting that you were looking at potentially becoming a physical therapist, and then stay with personal training, I talk to people who have gone down that path also a lot.
And I think the difference is like the personality types. With Personal Training, we have less red tape, we can kind of do what we want and how we want to shape it. We’re like we’re true entrepreneurs, whereas, in the physical therapist, they make really good money. And they’re super smart. And it’s very hard to do. But you are boxed in, there are certain things you can and can’t do. There’s more of a protocol on like, how you run your business. And I think that’s one reason why I really love Personal Training because we can, we can shape our business however we want.
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, that was definitely a big factor, being able to control certain parts of my business. And then also, I wanted to control what I was learning as well, a big part of the physical therapy kind of curriculum, when you get into like, the DBT level is doing a lot of neurology and neuro based sciences, which is just isn’t my it’s not the thing I’m most interested in, I’d much rather prefer talking about muscles, and cardio and specific, like functional movements. So as a trainer, I’m really able to dictate what types of continuing education courses I’m able to take, which makes it really fun for me, because I’m able to just really focus on those areas that I love to do and that I think are the most impactful for the type of people that I like to work with.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, totally. Now, I’m going to go a little bit off-topic here and backtrack, I have to ask you, what is your fastest 100 times?
Brittany Noelle: I was at my fastest at 11.9. Wow. Yeah, but that was actually before I got to college. And then I was super sad. When I got to college. It was just like, Really? That’s it? I’m not gonna get faster? Okay?
Steve Washuta: So do you still work with anybody in the track and field-related training today? Do you help people who are doing that? Or have you sorted or migrated away? Is that is that in your past?
Brittany Noelle: Yeah. So I’m actually a high school, track, and field coach. I was just really sad that last year, we didn’t have a season because of 2020. And I think we’re gonna get to have a smaller like a shortened season this year. So just waiting to hear back because I know the kids were really disappointed that they weren’t able to compete last year, especially my seniors and juniors. So it’ll be a very interesting season for sure.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s tough. There’s not a lot of ways to replicate that right. I imagine you can’t run the 100 on a treadmill. It’s probably dangerous to go ahead and try to do that. So speaking of that, let’s say let’s stay on topic here. The pandemic has obviously affected all of our businesses and you’ve just said it affects not only your business but actually your other jobs in your personal life. So can you speak to how that’s shaped your business model and how you’ve maybe changed the ways you’re attacking things?
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, so I was actually fortunate that I already had a pretty strong online presence before the pandemic hit. I was already in the transitionary phase of making things all online, it was more of my clients that were my existing in person, clients just didn’t really understand how online personal training would work, they were very used to that personalized experience that one on one experience in person. So it sort of took a while for people to understand what online training would look like.
Because I had such a strong in-person training base, I didn’t really push the online that much, it was just sort of like, yeah, this is here, I can train, you know, maybe three or four people online, but that’s not my main thing. Then once the pandemic hit, and I wasn’t able to see my clients in person anymore, for safety reasons, then they were much more open to the idea of what online personal training would look like, I feel like more people were open to searching online personal trainers and understanding that side of the business.
So it really helped me to sort of grow my business pretty quickly because I was already ahead of the game in the sense of having that infrastructure set up. And people already knew me in the online space. So it was a good thing for me. I feel bad for the other people that just weren’t as set up for that to happen. Because, you know, especially I live here in California, so our gyms have been shut down the entire time.
The majority of my friends are personal trainers as well, who have businesses based out of a gym. And so that gym was closed. And so they just had to figure out kind of on the fly what they were going to do. So I’m happy that I at least had this sort of the second option that I already had available to me, I just hadn’t been putting all my eggs into that basket. But now I can and it’s working out really well.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, yeah, that’s a good point. I think there’s a lot of older personal trainers, who are fantastic. But there, you know, they’re in their late 40s, and 50s, and maybe even 60s, and they didn’t quite enter this space or know how to enter the space and they never dip their toes in and the pandemic hit. They felt the brunt of it. It’s difficult if you’re just starting from scratch to jump onto this online space and take it all in especially I’m not even talking about building your name. But if you’re not savvy with computers, and technology and cameras and learning how to do these things, it’s tough.
I got lucky, personally, I moved across the country from Savannah, Georgia to Oklahoma City. And in that time, this was maybe a year and a half before that pandemic, I had a lot of clients who were in Savannah who want to still work with me. So I started to tinker with things and develop videos and go that route and look at different platforms and things of that nature. So I just like you, have had the stars aligned, I had like a year and a half of like, dipping my toes in and making a name for myself and being able to just launch and go at it.
But for those who don’t, I feel bad. And that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t start. I mean, they’re, it’s now that it’s here. I don’t know what you think I’ll throw this to you next. But I don’t think it’s going away. I know that people always have the, you know, the really strong will to go to a gym and have that personalized feel that high-value experience to work with a personal trainer. But at the same time, there are going to be a lot of people who fall in love with this online training thing. And obviously, from a trainer’s point. it’s scalable. So do you think it’s here to stay? And if so, are you on particular platforms that you’d like to use right now?
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, so I actually do think that it’s here to stay, mostly because the clientele that I tend to work with tends to be a more high-end sort of person that enjoys traveling or has to travel for work, or for leisure. And so that was usually a big pain point was that if they were out of town, they didn’t really know how to stay up on their fitness.
Now I can train them anywhere. So even if they’re away for business or pleasure, we’re still able to communicate in that way. Also, I’m really able to kind of the way that I do my training is that they don’t have to meet with me at any specific time, which really helps my busy like moms or entrepreneurs that it’s really hard to nail down a specific time.
Instead of them may be getting a smaller session, like if they’re late or running behind or having to cancel last minute, they’re still able to get the full benefit of their session and their programming. So I do think that people like the convenience in that sense, and they feel like they’re still getting the same amount of accountability and the same amount of personal care in this online space, which will make them want to stay with it.
Steve Washuta: That’s a great point. I didn’t think about having people be super busy. And you know, it’s pretty routine personal trainers know to have a client call you or text you and be like, I’m going to be running 10 minutes late. Is that okay? And you’re like, Well, yeah, but if I have someone right after you. That just means you miss 10 minutes of your session. I don’t have any buffer, like what can I do?
You try to do what you can to manipulate your schedule to help them out but there’s only so much you can do but like you said how Having those busy entrepreneurs or mothers or whoever it is that you’re working with, that gives them the flexibility to say, Hey, listen, go on my website, go on my app, go on the Dropbox, whatever I did for you here, I have your workout, I know who you are, I know we did last week, or yesterday or today, I’ve developed this workout for you just play, play it and do it and report back to me. I think that’s a big advantage that, that we just we didn’t foresee.
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, it’s super helpful for them. I’ve gotten really good feedback from it. So far, people are like, I love it. One of my ladies the other day said “I feel like this is like a video game”. It’s really fun. Like, she doesn’t think she doesn’t get the same stress that she was before. Because she feels like it’s kind of fun to just open up her phone, she sees all the videos, and she gets to go. And then I also have worked with a lot of people that struggle with the confidence side of things. And that’s like a huge part of my coaching.
So some people really just don’t feel comfortable being in the gym, they feel a little bit judged, they feel a little bit weird working out. So again, this just gives them the opportunity to kind of feel safe in their own home, try out some things, build that confidence so that later if they decide that they want to work out with someone in person, or again when things open up a little bit more, and they want to go back to the gym, it really helps them that they already had that experience just by themselves to learn things at home.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, I feel like that’s a niche unto itself, working with people who are nervous about going in the gym and nervous about taking that first step. You know, I worked when I started out, I worked at a private personal training studio, it was basically mostly women between the ages of let’s say, 30 and 65. And when we would ask, like we had like a form or something for them to fill out, asking: why did you come here? They said, “Well, I noticed the place, you know, going past it. It was near a hair dress shop and like some other shops”.
Like I noticed there weren’t like any big, like bruising guys coming in here because they were nervous that guys were going to be like either number one gawking at them. But number two, just like maybe looking at them as if like, what are you doing? You know, or I shouldn’t even say guys, maybe anybody who is that, you know, 10 years in the fitness game, and they want it their own time. So I think you’re right, that that whole, that whole clientele really translates well to the online fitness game. And something I never really even thought of. Speaking of that, let’s go into your app, I know that you have an app. Is it through someone in particular? Did you build it out on yourself? How exactly does the app work? Just give me the 411.
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, so the app is the Brittany Noelle fitness app. And you can download it onto your phone, I had a company called mean on digital, who are who construct it for me. But everything that is in it is like my workouts, my exercises, my recipes. So I really designed it to be a really easy resource for people that can’t afford the one on one personalization, but they’re still looking for guidance from a professional and people that really enjoy my style on my Instagram and on all my other websites, they can really just see all of my workouts there in one place.
So far, it’s been really helpful for a lot of people, I made sure that the app was very user-friendly. They can see specifically like I want to work for these muscle groups, or this is my goal. These are recipes. And so I’ve really enjoyed the feedback that I’ve gotten so far. And there’s a lot of people that are using it and seeing results. So I really like that. And then for my online like more customizable programs, I have a few group programs that I do.
Those are much more comprehensive. That is through my web app. So a company called affluents are helped me to build out that platform. And that one, again, has meal plans that are fully designed out, it has even more options for customizing your workout. And again, having more of that group support for people that do sort of want that sense of community. So I have that option for them as well.
Steve Washuta: Well, that’s really cool. So with the app, do you get to do your own videos. It’s not like you’re picking out like a workout builder. It’s actually you on the app, whether it’s a picture or a video instructing.
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, so all of it is a video instructing so it’s a picture that you can see as the thumbnail, and then each exercise is me demonstrating it with a voiceover to tell you exactly how to do it and directions. And all the fitness programs are just me. So it’s me all this 24 seven. So you just get all the Brittany that you want. And I know like a lot of people are big fans of my kettlebell workouts and things like that. So I have a lot of kettlebells.
But I also have a lot of you know, dumbbell exercises, barbell, no equipment. So I was really keeping in mind everyone and all the different people that asked me different requests in terms of like modalities and what things that they have. So this is really just a one-stop-shop for all of that fitness content for people.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s fantastic. I was having a conversation with someone else on a podcast about how it is important if you’re in this building apps game to be able to do your own videos for a lot of reasons, but one, in particular, is that you know, fit Is objective and subjective, there are certain things we know are wrong. But there’s sometimes more than one right way to do something right. Or, also, if you have a particular kind of clientele, you may want them doing something one way over another because of their age because of potential injuries that they’re more likely to get or susceptible to. So I think it’s great that you’re able to demonstrate in the fashion that you want for your clients and show them your way, rather than just send them a random workout builder.
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, that’s what I really appreciated, I also made it a lot more like women facing when I made it. I like that my app developers really listened to me when I talked about like, what sort of exercises I wanted to see, I’ve done other apps where you know, a lot of the workouts or chest workouts or bicep workouts were, that’s just not the first concern of a lot of women. So I was like, I don’t want this to be one of those types of apps like I really want to be catering towards more than the women-facing app.
Instead, it’s like, we’ve got arms and you know, upper body and things that more women think about when they’re trying to do their fitness, I was like, I don’t need to have 20 different ways to do a bicep curl on this, like, it’s not gonna happen, I’m gonna have two or three bicep curls, maybe and then the rest is going to be more functional style things or things that are catering towards the body parts that women tend to ask me more questions about. So that was really awesome, too. And in building out the app that I was able to make those kinds of executive choices of like, No, we don’t want that. Yes, more of this, please.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, most of the workout builders seem to just move in like the sagittal plane, or like the frontal plane, they’re not doing dynamic things. They’re maybe not even using, like, interesting, like, slam balls and bands and things. It’s like, it’s very, it’s very standard. So it’s hard to translate that. And I even think maybe it’s just because, you know, we’re personal trainers, we look at the body differently.
But when you watch a male as opposed to a female sometimes do the movements just anatomically that the difference is like, the hips or things of that nature, like the movement, can look different. Right? Sometimes it does appear a little bit different in the movement. So I think I think it is appropriate to have them demonstrated by somebody who is as close to the person as possible, I wouldn’t want to, I wouldn’t want a 73-year-old demonstrating to me like perfect running form because their muscles and legs aren’t going to move like yours are right.
So it is good to have things that are like in your wheelhouse in your ballpark similar to who you are. Right. So are there any other online platforms that you use? Do you have you use like, true coach or trainer eyes? Do you just do things through zoom or Dropbox or do you specifically use your own apps now,
Brittany Noelle: I do use trainer eyes a lot for my one on one clients. But again, I’ve gone through a lot of those videos and changed them out with videos of myself as well. But I am a big fan of the platform. And my clients like to use it too. Mostly, it’s the two-way communication that’s in there, I find that that’s a really good way for me to be able to talk to my clients in a very quick way. So I’m a fan of that platform.
Steve Washuta: Cool. I asked everybody this. So I’m putting you on the spot. What is one thing you don’t like about that app? You don’t have to be me and just like something you’re like, well, if you could like tweak something, what would you tweak?
Brittany Noelle: I would, again, want it to be easier for people to find me on the app, pretty much everyone that I train and train riser people that you know, I went out and I found and I’ve introduced them to trainer’s eyes. So it would be nice if they had something on there and to make their trainers more visible to again, just help with the attracting of new leads and new business.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, well, that makes sense. And that’s what Trulyfit gonna do. So you throw it back to me perfectly then and eventually to fit does not currently have. We’re not competing with trainers, we’re much more like schedule liquidity. But we will have those features. And yes, we do promote all of our trainers.
That’s what we do. So that is awesome. I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about your book. I saw a lot of great reviews. I also have a book, Fitness Business 101. And I feel like it was like the first step in really progressing my fitness journey. Like once you do that you’re like, Okay, like, what’s next? What’s next? What’s next? You just like to keep climbing and like the fitness world. Tell me about how you got the idea for your book, how it all came together? And why exactly. You chose this subject.
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, so I actually was approached by the publishing company, they thought that would be a really good fit for an idea that they had. They’re like, we want a book that is really a beginner way of teaching people about weight training, and we want it to be geared towards women. And I thought that the idea was really great. So I had the creative control in terms of picking out what sort of exercises and what information would be in the book, which was awesome.
Again, the intention was to have a book made by a woman for women to make weight training seem less intense or less intimidating. Because again, a lot of books that are written about fitness, specifically talk about weight training and are more from the bodybuilder side of things, which can be really intimidating for women that think that they’re gonna start lifting and turn into a bodybuilder.
I really wanted to be able to write the book to be like, No, these are the benefits. You know, this is why you should start weight training. These are the steps it has everything in there, like how to get started at your home gym, how do you get started at the gym, gym etiquette, how to pick exercises, and I have a ton of exercises in the book that show you, you know how to do it because there are drawings of each exercise and directions, and I’ve created programs. So it really is just a really comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to weight training.
And then the next question that I get is like, man, we’ll go What about us? And I’m like, it’s the same information. Like, honestly, you guys can read the book too. But again, there are just a lot more books that are written by men with the intention of men reading them. So I’m like, it’s just a different perspective. But all the exercises are unisex. So I’m like, don’t be intimidating. Grab that book. And you can do the same exercises as well.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s fantastic. I don’t know the exact percentages, but I would assume two as far as like, demographics are concerned that women would be more likely to read anyhow. So that’s great. A lot of men just think they already know everything, right. So especially in the bodybuilding world, they’re like, I already know what I’m doing. I don’t need your help. So I think women are more likely to, that’s why I’m sure you’re the same way. I mean, I have more I’ve always had more women clients, compared to the speaking ratio wise women to men, because women are willing to go out and say, You know what, I’m not exactly sure how to do this, I want to learn the right way how to do this, where men sometimes are more likely to say I got it.
Brittany Noelle: Typically, my ratio is either I train women who want to learn how to start working out the correct way, or they’re broken dudes that are like “I’ve given up, I can’t do this anymore, I need your help to fix myself”. That’s usually the two types of people that I get.
Steve Washuta: Now, I know that, obviously, with what’s going on with a pandemic, and especially California, it’s very difficult, if maybe nearly impossible to train on-site, for lack of a better term right now, have you stopped only because of the pandemic Will you continue to only do online training if and when things open up?
Brittany Noelle: I think so, there are a select few people that I will continue to train in person. But that’s just because I’m a really social person. And also one of my specialties is injury prevention and working around people that have specific movement issues. So for those people, it is a little bit easier to be there in person just to give them that extra love and attention. And I do really like that aspect of it. So I probably will do that. And again, I love training the kids like in the track and field space. So again, that’s another one of those special niche groups that work a little bit better in person.
But I myself, I really like to travel, it’s a huge part of what I do as a fitness professional, but more so as a content creator as well. So being able to have my business mobile is just really helpful for me, because then I’m able to help people no matter where I am, and help them where they are. And also just from a business standpoint allows me to be able to make a larger impact worldwide, and also not trade so much time for money, I’m much better, I can scale my business on a much larger level and be again much more impactful without just running myself down into the ground trying to do like six sessions in person a day. It’s just much easier to do.
Steve Washuta: Have you found there are any tips or secrets or hints that you can give the listeners and or me when you’re working online with people? I mean, I mean, specifically, via like the camera setting Do you find setting up in a particular way working with your clients works better? For you to be able to see your clients or for your clients to be able to see you or hear you? How does it look like walking me through a visual and technology-related one-on-one session with Brittany Noelle?
Brittany Noelle: So typically, for me as the trainer, I will usually set up my laptop, that way, I’m able to see them much better. So I’ll have the laptop so that I can see them visually and I can have my camera facing me. And then I’ll usually have like my tablet on the side as well. So that way I’m able to take notes about the client and their form. Or if I need to record what they’re doing at that moment, I’ll either grab my phone or the tablet to be able to record them as they’re working out if I need to play something back.
And then typically on my clients and I’ll tell them you know, you can just use your phone, your tablet, or your computer, whatever you feel more comfortable with. prop it up and I’ll either tell them hey, you can get a tripod to make this super duper easy so you can do it anywhere, or just you know, get yourself a couple of books and elevate it. So that really helps in In terms of me being able to see them and then being able to see me, and again, I’m, I can’t see very well from far away. So having a bigger screen is definitely helpful for me, which is why I like to look at people on my computer.
And then I have wireless mics, which help a lot, especially with client demos. So I use a Rode wireless mic. And that way, I’m able to connect that to my laptop or to my phone so that they can hear me, and no matter where I am in the room, they can still make sure that they’re hearing me. And I do that for all my live classes as well. Also, a lot of people don’t realize that when you’re training online, it’s very similar to training people in person in the sense of First you would demonstrate, so typically, I would say, Alright, Steve, so I’m going to show you what I’m going to do.
And I’m going to have bright colored dumbbells or a bright color resistance band, whatever I’m using so that they can see me, and then I’ll demonstrate it, and then I’ll come to sit at my computer and be like, Okay, go ahead and go. And then you’re basically just cueing the same that you would in person. So you do need to be a lot stronger with your verbal cues, especially if you were someone that was more of physical touch, or you do have to kind of understand how to get your client to do what you want them to deal with using verbal cues.
And I find that training, like a family member, is really good for that like if you have someone in your household that is really new to fitness, trying to get them to do a movement without showing them or without touching them. It’s actually a really fun game sometimes.
Steve Washuta: That’s that’s fantastic advice. I actually, you know, I was just having this conversation with another trainer. And his name is Michael Ashford fit dead fitness. And we were talking about the same thing that verbal cueing is now even more important because you can’t palpate you can’t set them up, you can’t manipulate, they can’t walk around 360, to see exactly what you’re doing.
So you have to have those verbal cues. And part of it is just like almost being good with analogies, right? You have to like you have to find ways to put that movement into another into multiple different sorts of parkinsonism, which they can they could potentially understand, but they may not. So you can say one thing to someone, they get it right away, but the next person doesn’t get that right. So you have to shift that analogy maybe to something they’re more likely to understand, in order for them to get that and to give your listeners an example.
I always say when you’re squatting, if you’re taking the packages out of the car, and you’re holding the packages, and your hands aren’t free, you have to close the door first right push your butt backward before you go down, close the car door with your butt. And then you go down, right so back then down. And you know there’s a ton of other small ones, there’s Everyone knows that squeeze the pencil in between your shoulder blades.
That’s what everyone uses when you’re doing lat-related exercises. Squeeze a quarter in between your butt until the President’s face is indented on your butt cheek. I like that one. So there’s a lot of different things, but you have to be creative in that world, because you’re going to be frustrated if and when the client doesn’t register, and you can’t walk through the screen and put them in the set position.
Brittany Noelle: Yeah, the frustration part is definitely something that you have to kind of take a step back as a trainer and not get frustrated, because a lot of people just have different coordination levels, or just hear things differently. So it’s kind of like again, we all know this when having better teachers than other teachers, you know that the teacher that you resonated with the most was the teacher that could get you to understand it, in a way that other teachers couldn’t. And so as a trainer, you’re striving to be everyone’s best teacher.
So it’s not the student’s job to try to mold themselves to fit you. It’s your job as the coach to be able to be like how can I change my coaching style to fit us that you feel comfortable and that you’re able to achieve the results. Because ultimately if you’re not able to do it, it’s more of a reflection on me as your coach, than as you as the client.
Steve Washuta: That’s perfectly said and I will shamelessly plug my book Fitness Business 101, I have a section in there Adjusted and Adapt. You have to make sure that you have different teaching styles to help your client out, write whatever they need, you have to adapt to that because ultimately, you’re going to be dealing with so many different types of people. And there’s only so much time you’re spending with these people and the quicker you can get them to do that movement, the better you’re going to get them to their end goal right the easier you’re gonna get them to their end goal. So you have to find ways to describe things differently and to just use different teaching styles. So that’s great information. Let’s give all the listeners information about how they can find everything, Brittany Noelle
Brittany Noelle: So the easiest thing is to just go to www.BrittanyNoelle.com and on there are links to my book. There are links to the fitness apps and it will ask you how you would like to start working with me in terms of Online personal training. There are also links to all of my social media accounts. Then if you’re on social media looking for me, you can find me at BNoelleFintess on Instagram, Facebook, and then TikTok. It’s TheFitQueen.
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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