Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Rowing 101 with Sarah Fuhrmann


Guest: Sarah Fuhrmann

Release Date: 02/26/2021


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

Steve Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast. I’m your host Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. On today’s podcast. We will be talking rowing one on one with Sara Fuhrmann Sara Fuhrmann runs, you can grow too. They are a rowing certification.

She teaches rowing classes. It is a fantastic certification. She goes in-depth here we talk about everything from the best rowers to the pricing of rowers to the actual certification to her transition, teaching the certification virtually, which you can go to does as well. We’re talking about particular parlance they use, you know, rowing jargon the catch, and how you get into proper form with rowing. creative ways to use the rower with your clients, and why the rower should be involved with your day-to-day as a personal trainer or maybe a group fitness instructor.

This is a pitch to you why you should get to know how to use the rower if you already do not have experience in it. with no further ado, Sarah. Sarah Fuhrmann. Thanks for being with me. Why don’t you give the audience a quick one-on-one on Sarah Fuhrmann. And also, you can go to as well.

Sarah Fuhrmann :Awesome. All right. Thank you, Steve, so much for having me. I’m so excited for this, this is going to be a super fun conversation. We’ve already been chatting for a long time offline. So obviously, we have a lot to say. Super excited to be here.

So I am My name is Sarah Fermin. I am the owner of you can grow to and what we do is we help everyday athletes and fitness professionals of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Use the rowing machine to build their best lives. that’s it in a nutshell, we have a track for people who love to row that includes a get start with rowing course, we have live classes that we teach online, we can talk a lot about the transition to online, coming up here. workouts, all that sort of stuff, I have a book actually called 101 best rowing workouts, which is a great place to start for people who just want a variety of workouts with using the rowing machine and other equipment.

And then we have our instructor track where we help a buddy who wants to get started with teaching on the rowing machine, come in learn to do it properly so that they can do it confidently, and they have some credibility behind them.

And then we help them go on and do whatever they want with that, whether it’s just teaching a few classes, or they want to actually build a whole business around it, they even have a lot of our people have a goal, for example, opening a fitness studio or a whole big online thing, or they want to make it the center of their personal training business. It runs the gamut. The nice thing about the rowing machine is it’s super versatile. And you really can use it for as long as you can push and pull. You can use it for your whole life. We just saw an article the other day about an amazing gentleman who just turned 100, and he’s still rolling. So it really will be with you for your entire life. It’s amazing.

Steve Washuta : So how long have you been doing this and had this company and then also, Now obviously, with the pandemic, I assume that you guys probably started in person, people came to you, you taught it. Now you probably had to transition a little bit to talk about, are you still doing anything in person? How does the virtual certification work? And how long have you guys been doing this?

Sarah Fuhrmann : So you didn’t go to is 12 years old, we’re going to start our 13th year in March. And for 11 of those years, we were offering these instructor certifications in person, we were doing them all over the United States and Canada. And then honestly, we resisted going online, I’m not gonna lie because we are very much fans and advocates for a hands-on approach. rowing is a sport that is amazing. It’s total body non-impact, but it’s a little bit complicated to learn.

There are lots of elements to it. And we feel felt strongly that to learn to do it correctly, it was important to learn to do it in person. However, March came a pandemic hit. And, you know, it became clear that it was really time for us to go online, people have been asking for it actually for a long time. And people from all over the world who really wanted to take our training and couldn’t because they, you know we’re asking them to be in person.

So we did it. We just went all in. And we actually created something I’m really, really proud of because I have this team of master instructors who have anywhere between 20 and 40 years of experience in rowing they often have a former Olympian, for example, on our Master Instructor team they have they’re really, really well trained. They’re experts. They’re world-class. And what we created by going online and this is I say this because I think this is a really interesting opportunity for other people in the fitness space to think about like how can you make the online option A value add versus just be versus just being like a decent substitute or something like that, right?

We actually made it so that we could bring in, we do it over zoom, we do it in two half days so that it’s not too much on anybody, because we really feel like an eight-hour training, which is what it is, in one day on zoom is just mind-numbing, and horrible. So we do it in two half days. And we bring in four to five master instructors, and everybody can get coached by all of them. So instead of just having one master instructor, you’re actually getting coached by a whole crew of them. And it’s turned out to be a really, really amazing experience.

And I’m actually when we’re done recording this, I’m actually going to be sending certificates off to Costa Rica and Wales along with a bunch of places in the US and Canada. So the opportunity that the pandemic gave us, right, to broaden our reach and to actually deepen our training has been amazing. We’ve nobody else does it this way. And I’ve just absolutely loved it.

Steve Washuta :Yeah, I mean, the scalability of online is just unquestionable how it can help you grow your business, I’ve always been hesitant. When I work with younger trainers, I have told them for the longest time, don’t go online right away. But with that being said, that right away is the keyword there. So what I mean by that is you still need that in, in in-person, real-world experience and your instructors who are teaching other people have that, right, use the proper cueing.

They could explain to them what the difference is between what they’re seeing on the video and what the difference will be when they’re working with people on site. Right? So you have a say his name is John and John’s been an instructor of rolling for 14 years, he could explain to me on my first certification. Hey, Steve, I know you’re seeing me do this virtually.

And it looks this way. But when you’re in person, it might look a little bit different. Make sure you check a B and C on your client because that’s very important. Right, having those instructors who didn’t start online, who now transitioned online teach you is Uber important. And it looks like that’s what you’ve done.

Sarah Fuhrmann : Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think you know, I think I’m trying to think if there are any of our trainers who are planning on being 100% online, and I don’t think there are I mean, it, could you do it? Yes, absolutely. I mean, like I say, we run our training online, we get people who come to our instructor training, and also our live classes, we do learn to row so we have people who’ve never ever ridden, and they learn to row Well, with an online option, but it is definitely nice.

I think it’s true with training, too, right? If you have the option to talk to actually touch somebody, that’s helpful, right? If you’re trying to position somebody correctly, or, you know, for example, in the case of the rowing stroke, get them to hold their knees down better, or whatever it is, it’s helpful if you can actually like put your hand on their knees and tell them not to do that. But Failing that, I think cueing is absolutely essential.

And you really need to have, you know, I feel like the online environment really forces up forces us as trainers to up our game. Yeah, because you need to have a million options for how you’re going to scale somebody, if they can’t do the move correctly, you might have to I have looked at so many of our workouts and thought, okay, I can do this workout that’s got some strength, move off the machine, you know, I can, I can teach this workout in person, because I can watch them very carefully and make sure they’re moving the weight, right the dumbbell right, or whatever it is.

But I find in teaching online, sometimes what you have to do is you have to, you have to change some of that out. So you can teach moves that people understand how to do or that they can quickly learn to do. And that you can see them doing and correct them properly. Because anything that’s got a lot of nuance to it, you may not catch it online. And you know, what’s the number one thing that we need to do is trainers, safety, safety safety, we harp on that you can go to there’s nothing more important than safety. The other thing we like to say is that you’re everybody’s best friend until somebody gets hurt.

Steve Washuta: That’s right. And also to add to what you just said, when there are curveballs in the gym, meaning like if I walk into a fitness facility, and my plan for the day was to use the cable machine. But trainer B is occupying that machine the whole time with our client or I go in and it’s broken, right, the machine is broken. I have other options.

I might have endless options in the gym. And if you’re a good trainer, you can navigate to something else quickly and still hit those particular muscle groups. But on the online world, it’s different if I’m working with a client, and they told me they had 30-pound dumbbells and 25-pound dumbbells and they go oh, I typed it in wrong. Sorry, you start this hour and they have 15 and 50s. And you’re like okay, well this is going to change what’s going on right or? Yes. I’m sure you can relate that to rolling.

You’re working with someone online and they’re like, Hey, listen like I injured something. Or I burned my hand on a pot yesterday. I can’t actually grip the rower. But having an experienced teacher right has been there done that goes you know what, there are other things that we can work on. We can work on the muscles that you’re going to use for the rowing motion or we can work on the knee position. You don’t even need to grab the handle or work on the knee position right So I think it’s important to have that experience like you said when you transition online because there’s going to be curveballs and the experienced people are going to be able to deal with them quicker.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Yeah. And I think, you know if you don’t have that experience, so for example, we created a community that actually is sort of a back end to our certification seminar that allows people to come in and be it’s all instructors, you know, and they’re, they’re in a community together, and they can ask each other questions, and they can say, you know, honestly, what’s one of the biggest problems that people have in teaching online? It’s the tech.

Definitely. And so you know, if you have a problem with my mic failed, or, you know, say a similar thing to what you’re talking about to like, you know, somebody is coming in, they’re hurt, or they or, you know, what do I do now, Susie just emailed me that they that she burned her hand on a pot this morning.

Now, what do I do? You know, we have class in an hour, it’s helpful if, if you don’t have that sort of toolkit yourself, it’s really helpful to have a place to go to drop into question and know that you’re going to be able to get an answer quickly. So having that community of people who like-minded people who do what you do that you can go and get some help from getting a quick answer from I think it’s also really, really important.

Steve Washuta: It’s so important. And it’s also important from just building your business, it’s instructors, but having those communities where you have all of that engagement and interaction is amazing for the for brands to build brands, which I’m glad to hear that yours is going very well I know that it’s difficult for people to start that up.

But it’s, it’s important. And I think, in our industry, we got into this industry in the first place to help people, right, your goal is to make people better rowers and to help them build their businesses, right, by your light techniques and things. My goal is to help trainers and other people build their businesses.

So you know, our natures are to help people, which means absolutely, so are other trainers. It’s such a good community because everybody wants to help anyway. So you’re just right. You’re throwing out questions to people who can’t wait to help you. And I feel like it’s a huge mistake not to start that with your business right away to have those like big social community groups where there’s constant engagement.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Totally, totally. And the other thing I say to people too is, you know, we get in this, especially when we move online, I think people get this idea that oh, I’m competing with ex, you know, Joe’s doing the exact same thing. I do. Susie’s doing the same thing I do, and she’s added something else. Oh my gosh. Now, what do I do now? Now, I don’t matter anymore. And I always remind people, we are not competing with each other. For two reasons. One, you and I could be doing the exact exact same thing.

And we would still appeal to different audiences. Actually, there are three reasons to the world of the internet is pretty much infinite. We could never handle as single people or even as whole companies, everybody who’s available to us as a rower as an as somebody who’s looking for training or whatever it is.

There’s a pie for everybody. And then the third thing I always say, and I really feel like this is the most important, we are not competing with each other. We’re competing with the couch. Because even now, and I haven’t seen the most recent stats like from this last year, but I bet this is even more true now. 80% of the people in the US who could be exercising regularly and should be aren’t. So never mind the 20% that people are out there working with right now there’s 80% of people who still need to get off the couch and need somebody who will help them start moving. Right. So you know, don’t worry about competing with anybody else. We’re all in this together. And there’s a pie for everybody.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great point. All three of those points really make sense. Now, let’s start getting into the weeds here. A little bit of rowing. Okay. Yes. I just to give you my background, it’s basically nothing I’ve taken two or three, I guess you would call them rolling seminars at different conferences, where I sat down for an hour or two in a room with someone who was selling a particular or grower and we went through the concepts of the things they did and how they taught classes and things.

So I don’t want to see your hero. comparatively speaking to most trainers, I don’t have a lot, but I know enough. I have used the water rowers before which I enjoy the whooshing sound they make I’ve used the concept twos before, I’ve used some really bad ones that people have in the homes that they order for $100 off Amazon now. But give me the information about the different kinds of rowers. Why one might be better than the other which rowers that you use, just spill the beans here.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Okay. So typically what I say is, we are big fans of concept two, all right. And I and I like it because especially for somebody who’s just starting out because a couple reasons. First of all, it’s really really affordable. Especially compared to it used to be kind of on the more expensive and but now since all these other ones have come on.

It’s now a half or less Of what some of the more expensive ones are. And it’s the gold standard, it’s still the gold standard, right? So it’s a really great place to at least start. If you’re looking at getting into rowing, you know, you’re not sure exactly how you want to use it. It’s very user-friendly. There’s nothing to the plugin. It’s very easy to maintain. It has. The monitor has a ton of information on it even workouts built-in and all this stuff. I’m not saying that. Well, yeah, I am saying I, you know, it really is the one I recommend also because if you decide you don’t want it, there is such a massive community behind it, you could sell it,

Steve Washuta: I saw that I was looking into buying one recently. And I went on like Facebook marketplace and like some local, whatever app selling apps, and actually, the resale value seemed pretty good. It was about they hold their value like crazy 70% of like what you would get a new one for and it’s probably because, you know, at my last facility, we had three of them. And they were all five years old, and none of them had any problems, zero problems. So that’s, I think that’s important when you’re buying fitness equipment to know that you don’t get it because I’ve seen a lot of other fitness equipment rowers included. When I read reviews, one in every five or six was just a clunker. Right? You just got a lemon, and then you got screwed.

Sarah Fuhrmann :Yeah, yeah, no. And then, you know, concept two is tried, tested, and true. It’s been around for 40 years. There are Yeah if you want to spend $2,000 or more on a rowing machine if you’re up for that. Absolutely. There are beautiful ones out there, you know, you know, Hydros one echelons. Another one NordicTrack has one, there’s a lot of them. And I think it just comes down to me, for me personally if I’m going to spend that kind of money, I want to get on the machine and try it before I buy it.

Because it’s a huge investment. And, you know, I feel like you need to, you need to make sure that rolling is something you really gonna love. Most, you know, most people who try it, love it, but not everyone does. And you know, I think that’s worth thinking about when you’re thinking about buying equipment, how much space does it take up? You know that to like, that matters, you don’t do want a piece of furniture that’s going to take up your whole living room, and you can’t move it out of the way? Well, that’s a problem.

Right? Um, you know, those are all things I would say that are worth weighing. Yeah. And I’ll add, I also wouldn’t do to your point we asked, we get people to ask us quite a bit, you know, well, I have $500 to spend or I have $400 to spend, you know, you put that into one of our Facebook groups. We’ve had a few Facebook groups, you put that into one of ours and they will all say oh yeah, I spent I spent three $400 when I was first starting out and it wasn’t worth it to save your money, buy something better get on the Facebook marketplace or Craigslist or whatever get it used if you can.

There are just certain things that are wait worth saving a little bit more spending a little bit more and just getting something good out of the gate. And I would say that a rowing machine is one of those because you know what, I hate it and then you know, as you said, a bad rowing machine will give you a really bad experience. And then you’re going to end up hating the sport when you could have a total life and fitness and body transformation but you hate it because the machines were terrible.

Steve Washuta: And to give the audience because I was just doing this, like a price point. I found you can get a really good concept to use the rower for about $750 if you’re looking in the right places, sometimes they’re more eight 900 1000. But if you’re you know the set, I believe the $750 price point is a great one. And if you can, if you can wait, go on your Facebook marketplaces go on these things, and just check every day until you have the option to find it because rather than buy that three or $400 rower and then have it go bad on you. Yeah, start complaining that there’s it’s not it’s making weird noises or the seeds broken or all these other things. It’s, you know, you get what you pay for in life. And it’s certainly worth waiting for.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Yeah, totally. Totally. And also, you know, for any trainers who are thinking about you know, if they train people at home, or they have a gym or whatever, and they’re thinking about getting them you know, the great thing about the concept to is they have the most amazing customer service ever. So you pick up the phone, you have any kind of a problem you pick up the phone, you call concept to you get a human being on the other end of the line, who will get you the answer whatever your question is, they have the answer.

They have all the parts for all the machines they’ve ever made. They have schematics for everything, they will talk you through anything that needs to be done. I mean, you know, as a professional I feel like that is just so so important. You need help if you’ve got a problem you need helping you need it right now. And you know, I’ve called concept to all the time and just gotten instant support for whatever issue I’m having and I just feel like that’s that is well worth the price of admission to

Steve Washuta: Yeah, yes sir. And I’ll add one more point. It looks like we’re doing a concept to advertisement here. There they are so light, I think for people who may be Haven’t even sat on a rower who’ve never done it. They can look bulky they can look like they’re going to be a pain in the butt to move the concept to the rower. Anybody can lift it up with one hand and really move it into the corner of your room or your house.

And it’s not, it’s not nice or it’s not a burden. And I think I think that makes a big difference when you’re making these purchases as opposed to going ahead and saying, oh, if I’m between an elliptical and a concept two rower and I can get them both for around the $750. Mark. Well, you know, there’s a lot of different reasons, I’m sure you’ll go into it. Why you should get the concept to rower over the elliptical, but one of them should always be you can lift that thing up with one hand, put it into a corner and take it down when you need to.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Yeah, I mean, I feel like you know, if you’re gonna have equipment at home, you need to be able to move it and you don’t you should not need to have somebody you know get like call up a moving company to come and help you rearrange your gym furniture, your equip your fitness equipment. That’s crazy. Yeah. And of course, I’m all about, you know, obviously, I’m all about the total body aspect of any rowing machine, right? You know, yeah, you are sitting down, but it’s so if you do it correctly, it’s, it’s, it’s just so much bang for your buck, it’s 80 to 80% of your muscles on every single stroke.

Nothing else does that in the same way. And it does not impact. You know, that’s why you get people who we were talking before about this gentleman who’s 100 years old, who’s still rolling, like, you know, who’s very few people, I’m gonna say nobody, but very few people are still running at 100 years old, right? You just like your knees and your hips, just go, No, no, I’m out, let’s find something else to do. And, you know, I also love it too, while we’re talking about it, because, you know, you and I were talking a little bit before we started recording about the 50 plus market. And I’m 58. So I’m definitely in that market.

And I work with a lot of people who are both on the trainer side, and on the rowing the athlete side. Just because we get older doesn’t mean we don’t want to be challenged anymore. And you know, like, take your chair yoga, nothing wrong with it. But like I’m, you know, I’m not here for the gentle exercise class, I want to sweat, I want to work hard. And so do all of the people who work out with me, and they range in age from early 60s to 87.

They’re all in it for the hard workout, whatever that looks like for them, whatever that looks like for them on that day. And I love that, you know, the rowing world, in general, offers lots of challenges, literally challenges all year long that you can do at your own, you know, the level that works for you. But it can also get really, really serious and competitive, all the way up the entire sort of, you know, the chain of age, right.

And I think it is so important as we get older that we continue to do weight-bearing exercise that we continue to challenge our hearts and lungs, and that we just, you know, for our own mental capacity that we continue to do things that that challenge us in every way possible. And, you know, rolling is just amazing. That way we have as we’re recording this, we have the world indoor Rowing Championships coming up. And, you know, the age range goes from, you know, juniors all the way up to, as you know, 90 Plus, like, Where else can you get that? That’s just amazing.

Steve Washuta: Yeah. And you mentioned the anatomical process of the rower and how many different muscles you work, I think the average person maybe even trainers go, Oh, well, it’s only working on your legs and back, right? When it’s not working. Anything else? Can you speak to all the different muscles that are working? how it goes? And then in addition to that, can you add a little bit of the rowing jargon. So if I am a trainer, what is the parlance I’m using? I know catch is one of the phrases that when I’m describing the process of how my client should be going in the proper positions for rowing,

Sarah Fuhrmann: right. So in terms of the muscles worked, it’s basically it really is basically all of them because as you’re, you know, when you’re in that catch phase, which is when you’re up at the front of the machine, you are getting you you have your arms extended, you’re getting ready to push back, in that push back, you’re gonna use I’m thrilled that you said it was a leg move, not an arm move because everybody says, Oh, you row you’re going to have such strong arms and Well, yes, you will have strong arms, but you’re only working about that’s only about 10% of the stroke.

The wrong stroke is about 60% legs, 60 ish percent legs, 20 ish percent, a 30 ish percent, you know, torso or body, right back, core, all of that hips. And then the arms are just about 10%. So, um, and that’s, by the way, when we teach it, that’s something that we really emphasize with people because you want to it’s we say it’s a push, not a pole. So on every single stroke, you’re getting great work throughout your legs into your hips, you know, glutes, and all of that.

You get it every single time. So the catch is the beginning, then the drive is the push back. And then you have the finish where you’re going from, to, let’s say, an 11 o’clock position on the clock with your torso. And then the recoveries when you push your hands away, and you move back forward to the beginning to the front of the machine to take that next stroke, set yourself up. Um, so that’s the terminology.

Steve Washuta: Are you inhaling on the way in and exhaling as you push back? Or Yes,

Sarah Fuhrmann: yes, yeah, you’re gonna exhale on the drive, you might take a short little breath at the finish in the recovery, and then you’re going to inhale on the way in, and then you might take another little short breath, as you’re, as you’re hitting the catch. I can’t say enough for trainers about the value, if you’re going to use this machine seriously, of, of getting some kind of training, whether you actually like, for example, come and take our seminar about it. And you can choose to complete that certification process or not.

But you know, if that’s not an option, you know, get some training from somebody else who’s certified or find a master instructor get in touch with us, we have people all over the world, literally. you know, and I can connect you with somebody to at least give you a couple of hours of, you know, here are some of the basics, we also have a ton of stuff on our YouTube channel, a ton of getting started kind of videos, that will absolutely help trainers, we have some stuff that’s specifically for trainers about how to get started on using the rowing machine.

You know, as I was saying to you before we started recording that I just feel like any modality that you’re going to use as a significant part of what you offer, I feel like it’s really important to get some specific training on that just for your own confidence, right.

Because, you know, no trainer wants their client to get hurt. We’re all you know, if that ever happens under our watch, we’re just mortified. Right. And we don’t want that to happen. It’s just bad for business, you know, so get some training on it. But I think in terms of an exercise that is, you know, there’s just no better bang for your buck, really, than the rowing machine. And if you’re a trainer, it’s a great way to do a warm-up. It’s an amazing cooldown.

If you’re doing other stuff. If you’re in a position where you can have someone do an interval workout, and you’re doing you know, you do a warm-up whatever it is, and then you do a minute or two or three or something of rolling and then you get off and do like dumbbell moves, or kettlebell swings or lunges or squats or whatever it is, we do that quite a bit that you can go to that’s kind of our bread and butter, that sort of workout. That’s an amazing workout. And it’s not requiring you to sort of be supervising your client on the rowing machine the entire time. Another great way to use it is it’s an amazing cross-trainer.

So we have for example runners who come to us all the time to use the rowing machine to balance out what they’re doing with their running. triathletes love it too. It’s there are great ways to do brick workouts with it. And again, it’s that cross-training piece that gives you that little bit of a break from your training. If you’re training for something like a marathon or whatever, just gives you a little bit of balance.

It’s a great way to mix it up. And, you know, we’ll see what happens when gyms reopen? Well, they’re not they’re sort of open here in Michigan where I am, but you know, it used to be we used to call it the Rodney Dangerfield of the fitness floor because nobody wanted to use it on the rowing machine got no respect. Now it’s gotten so much more popular, I think you actually might have to wait in line for it. But you know, it’s great as a trainer, if all the treadmills are taken and you need something to put your client on to get a little bit, get the heart rate up, and get started before the workout. If the rowing machines are available, man, there’s no better machine to get everything warmed up and ready to go.

Steve Washuta: I’m going to add I’m gonna piggyback off your sentiments here that it’s a real missed a big missed opportunity for trainers to not get to understand how to use this machine for a few reasons. One is, what you echoed earlier on is that any population can use it right. So you can challenge your 18-year-olds, you can challenge your 18-year-olds, just you can use it in any part of the workout. I had a lot of my clients warm up with it.

I had a lot of my clients cool down with it. And I’ve sometimes put them on for 30 minutes and we busted it right in the middle of that so you can use it and all those different facets and I think that’s really important. And again, leading back to what you were we started off this conversation about having baseline knowledge, getting a certification, watching your YouTube videos, and all that is is very important.

I’ve only taken two or three small hour-long seminars but it was with a guy who rode for like brown or Harvard, right actual rowing and then he developed a rower himself. So he had a lot of knowledge and those three or four or five different things I picked up from him like how it was a push exercise and how you don’t really start the poll until the bar is past your knees right and or like and you got to relax your shoulders and all these like small little cues that you can help your clients it’s very important not to just throw your client on there. Because it’s the only open machine.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Yeah, super important because they, it’s really important that they get everything out of it that they can, you know, and by the way, since we’re talking about it, the other thing is, do not as a trainer, get, or even, you know, rolling, rolling for yourself, don’t get on the machine and throw that damper up to 10.

That’s the way to look like a, you know, somebody who doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing. Like it’s there, you know, it’s, we use it very rare that that high damper setting, but really, we tell people to put it between three and five. And that’s where really experienced good rowers put the damper because then you’re really properly engaging your legs, because the problem is, it’s like gears on a bike, right? It’s not resistance, people talk about it as resistance all the time.

And that’s really not what it is. But when you have it up really high, and you’ve got all this air coming in, it’s like it’s, it’s like moving a heavy boat full of fish. And you might be able to do that for a few strokes, but then you’re likely to start throwing your back into it. For one thing, that’s a, that’s definitely a risk for a back injury, it’s not something you can sustain over very much time. And it’s just, it’s just, it’s not giving you all that much benefit. We do use it occasionally in workouts where we have people grow very, very slowly, so maybe 16 or 18 strokes a minute. But every time when you have that damper that high every time it’s like pisser, picking up a massively high load, and then the flywheels basically dying every stroke.

Instead, what you want is to create something more efficient, right, so that you’re actually getting more cardio benefit out of the machine as well as the strength benefit. I know people love to do it, but man, you know, it’s not, it’s not the way to get the most benefit out of the machine, sir. Not for extended periods of time. Not great. And if you feel like we do get people to say, but I don’t feel anything if I don’t have it that high. And I say two things. Number one, check with maintenance because it might be that the machine actually needs to be cleaned. Because if the machine is in the gym, it may never have been cleaned. They are very low maintenance, but they’re no maintenance, you do have to clean them. And then the second thing is I lost my thought,

Steve Washuta: Well, you know, because let me ask you a quick question here. Because, you know, there I believe, you know, there is no kinetic meaning the harder you pull, the harder it resists almost right. So I think trainers instantly think they about other machines that run in that same fashion. They go Of course, I got to put the 10 and I got to rip it as hard as I can. Because, you know, that’s what’s gonna give me the most resistance. But I think, you know, rowing it’s not just about every individual repetition like you said, it’s about, it’s about the workout, the experience getting in rhythm and all of those things. 

Sarah Fuhrmann: Yeah, we’re not talking about a one-rep max here. Yeah, right. We’re not talking about five deadlifts, we’re talking about 20 we’re talking about what 100 at least right, you got 25 strokes a minute, let’s say you’re going to roll for at least three or four minutes minimum. Are you going to deadlift? Your one-rep max 100 times? I hope not. Yeah, that’s a horrible idea. Right. So that, you know, that’s kind of that’s part of the point too, right? Yeah. And it is about being more efficient.

And really, the thing is, because it is an ergometer, and it does respond to you if you’re really properly engaging your legs at the catch, and you’re really properly pushing back forcefully. Then following with the pole, you’ll get plenty of resistance out of that lower damper setting, but you’ll also be able to do it properly over more time.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s, that’s good information. And I think to for trainers, speaking again, towards the creativity, because you also have you have time and numbers that you can work in, I think it’s great. I put my clients on before and said, we’re going to go, you know, 80% effort for 40 seconds, then we’re going to come down for 20 seconds, right? Just go through the motions, and then things like that. So I think, you know, it’s just endless options, people might see it and go, there’s only one thing you can do about it. That’s not the case. There are endless options. And you will only get to unpack those options, once you start learning a little bit more about it, getting your certification, understanding the basics, and that’s why it’s important to do that.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Exactly. Yeah, there are. There are just so many different ways that you can use the machine even if you’re just using it on its own, you know, you can we did a workout today where we had a six-minute interval and we tried to set up the pace boat, which is something that you have on the concept to monitor where you can program in a certain pace that you want to use. And it was four rounds of these six-minute intervals. And the goal was to try to use that pace boat and try to beat yourself every time.

You know, track it following the boat as you’re rolling along. It’s super motivating super fun. On Saturday, we did a workout that was based on the number of watts we generated that was very much like what you’re talking about. It was like it was 15 seconds on 40 Five seconds off, then 30 seconds on 30 off, then a full minute at that higher rate, and then a break, it was great. Like, there’s no reason to be bored on the right machine.

And if you are, you just need to contact me because I will give you something to do that will be different than what you’re used to. But I understand why people get bored, they think all you can do is sit down and just push and pull and just kind of go back and forth on the machine. And that’s just sad. Because there’s so much more to it than that there’s so many more opportunities and ways to use it.

Steve Washuta: Yeah. And that’s on the instructor, right? If you can’t, if you can’t devise ways to make it interesting, eventually that’s on you. Because you know, you have two different pieces of equipment, you have number one, the human body, right there. And then you have the actual row or So between those two, if you can’t think of something that’s on you, you have to be more creative. Now, I want you to start to tell me about how you, I know you said you you virtually transitioned or there. Was there a company that you used in particular, did you do this all on your own? Did you do this purely through zoom? When you’re doing these certifications? How did you manage the complete sort of 180 switchovers?

Sarah Fuhrmann: In terms of teaching my class, my personal classes? Well, my personal classes are on zoom, but they are with a group of people that I have been with for with these people have been together for since before I existed even like 20 years. So that was pretty simple. To teach our online classes that we are online workouts we are, we’ve used a couple of platforms right now we’re working with on Podio as a way to it makes it a little bit easier to book classes, we can offer class packs as well.

You know, it’s easy to schedule and stuff like that, there are a ton of them out there, you just need to kind of go out and look and you know, see who you like and decide what options you want to offer like do you want to offer a sliding scale possibility? Do you want to offer a drop-in or not? Do you want to have music because that’s the whole thing, if you’re teaching a class and you want music needs to be rights-free, and that can be that’s a whole thing? You know, all those pieces, so there’s a ton of options there. And then we did for our certification training because we have people coming in from all over the world.

And because we use breakout rooms in that training, so people can, you know, spend a decent part of the of each of the days, actually in a small group of no more than five people doing some more, getting more hands-on and getting more interactive. We are working with a production company called the power of video, and I’m gonna go ahead and drop a plugin there for them because they’re amazing.

They have been incredibly helpful to us. And they handle all the backend. So for anybody who’s putting on a bigger event, and they do all kinds of events, but for anybody who’s putting on a bigger event, it’s really a good idea to not have to worry about like, who’s coming in late that needs to be admitted to the training. And you know, what, what if these back these breakout rooms don’t work, right, which can happen because tech, you know, what about a recording of the whole thing? How do we break that out all that stuff, it’s really a good idea to have somebody else to put that off on definitely stick to your one of the things I will say about teaching online.

A couple things I’ll say about teaching online if you don’t mind. It is really important to stick to what you’re good at. If you’re just getting used to teaching online, that is not the time to start throwing in a new modality of any kind or any kind of a twist. Because online is twist enough as it is there’s always a tech issue, there’s always the mic that dies, you know, all these things, there is the person who burned their hand on the pot when they were making their breakfast, and now they can’t do it. So you have to make an adjustment, like, keep it as simple as you can.

To begin with definitely is also had a nice conversation about this inside of our instructor group actually over the weekend. It’s a really good idea to be very defined in, like what your workout time is. So the conversation was about the chatty Cathy, who just wants to catch up and you know, whatever. It’s very nice and zoom, there’s a mute all button. Because as somebody said, you know, people are paying for your class, even though you’re not in person, they’re still paying to be with you. So you’ve got to respect that.

And you know, yeah, definitely that you need to create. You need to be intentional about creating connections online. That is absolutely true. But open up the doors to your class 15 minutes early and let people have that chat time including with you. And then when it’s time for class to start, you know, it starts at nine started at nine, right, mute everybody you do the class and then you can have that chat time in the end. But I think it’s really important to allow for that connection. And don’t let anybody hijack the whole thing because then you get in this back and forth on zoom, you know, somebody is taken over intentionally or unintentionally taken over the screen. And with roaming, if, depending on the rowing machine, you know, they can be a little bit loud. So that can definitely happen.

I would say that it’s also really important when you’re teaching online to be to not rush through what you’re saying. Because you’ve got, you’re not in person, for one thing, right? People aren’t necessarily even seeing you all that well. I mean, they might be seeing you on a big screen, or they might be watching you on their phone, and you might be tiny. So you really need to take the time to explain things better. You’ve got to have a boatload of cues available. And one piece of advice I heard recently that I really like is, take a breath, take a physical breath between every cue. And that wasn’t even for teaching online.

But I think it’s more so true for teaching online because we have to allow for people to either there’s a delay as well, right. But there’s that delay in their head of either seeing it or hearing it and they need to take the time to take that in, process it right, and then apply it and it’s all slower online. So you just gotta you gotta slow your roll, in a way in teaching and at the same time.

The other thing I tell people is, the camera absorbs basically all of your energy, you know how we always say the camera adds 10 pounds? Well, what also sucks away all your energy, so there is no way to be too big. When you’re on camera. Go ahead and be as crazy as you want. And you’re still going to watch it back in India. Oh, man, I like needed to have another espresso because that was boring. Yeah, I just can’t get too big online. And I think, you know, I’m an introvert.

But I look at this as almost a performance when my class starts, I’m just putting it all out there. And I’m making it fun. Because in group exercise, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about bringing the fun, and you got to transmit that fun, you’re not in the same room. So that energy has got to get over to the camera somehow. And it’s got to come from you.

Steve Washuta: I did a podcast with a celebrity trainer. His name is Kai Evans. And he talks about he’s a group fitness guy. He talks about being an enter trainer, not an entertainer, but an entered trainer and how Yeah, especially in the online space, like you said, because you’re not there in the room, you really have to create a presence, you have to be a little bit louder, you have to use different adjectives, you have to cue more than you typically would or cue in a few different ways. You have to watch wood and add all that in and then and to add what you said before in the online space. It’s what group fitness people should think about is the first time they entered a group fitness room.

Let’s say they entered some sort of room, maybe they were teaching. Who knows? If you’re teaching a step class in the 80s? Or maybe you’re teaching a hit class two years ago, before the pandemic, you assess the room? You got a sense of Okay, where’s the equipment? Where’s the sound coming from? Where are the speakers? Is my music too loud? Is there a stage? Or is there not a stage? Where am I standing?

How will the acoustics happen if this band breaks? Do we have extra bands here? Do I need modifications, because I have an 83-year-old and an 18-year-old and you thought of all these different things, it’s no different when you enter the online space, you step into that virtual room? And you have to be thinking, Okay, what are all the different variables and dynamics at play here, and it’s going to take you three or four or five or six, seven different sessions before you get comfortable.

So just like yeah, just like you says, Don’t rush into doing things that are not in your wheelhouse, because you’re going to encounter these problems, so you want to be able to fix them quickly.

Sarah Fuhrmann :Mm hmm. And I would also say, unless you absolutely Well, you know, honestly, it’s not likely to go this way. Because it just, it doesn’t build that quickly. But pay attention to how many people you’re letting into your class. I mean, it would be a great problem for all of us, if we have like 100 people taking our class every time that’s very unusual. But you know, you really safety first applies online to it’s no different. And you really want to make sure that you’re you’ve got a number of people that you can manage.

So for example, I’m a big fan of getting the big investment in a big screen because they’re not even all that expensive that you can plug your laptop into, but you want to be able to if possible, especially if you’re just starting out, set yourself up so that everybody’s on one screen and you don’t have to like scroll to see what anybody else is doing because that will get really hard as you get into it.

You’re gonna that that just gets more complicated. And like I said, you want to keep it simple, simple, simple, especially at first so if you can limit yourself to I don’t know, you know, 10 or 15 or whatever people that is in the class initially, whatever you need to be able to really see everybody and get everybody really excited and make sure to that you’re calling people out in a positive way. I don’t mean like a Suzy stop doing that. I mean hey great job I’m you know, and cycle through and like shell people out they love it. They need to feel that you see them Um, you know, even across the ether, I think that’s even, that’s actually even more important in the online environment.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, I agree. They’re not just watching a YouTube video of you, right? They need the interaction, they’re paying for the interaction most likely. Exactly. Right. And sometimes, I’ve seen, so it might, you know, my wife just took a yoga class yesterday, and the instructor didn’t change the price. I’m not telling her that’s right or wrong. But the virtual classes are now just as expensive sometimes as the on-site classes. So Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, charging just as much as you were for an on-site class, you better be giving me all of that same energy, and talking to me and pretending I’m there. I’m not pretending as an instructor. You’re just in your living room, filming a YouTube video?

Sarah Fuhrmann: Yeah, totally. But I would also say that that’s an excellent point. Because I would also say to that, you know, we all need to stop giving away our stuff. Stop thinking that Oh, because it’s online, it should be free? Or because there is so much stuff available online? Well, I just, I can’t compete. I’m just going to make it free. Or I’m going to do you know, $1 a class or something? That’s no, just stop that. Because that’s undervaluing yourself. I feel like it’s also undervaluing the client.

Because really, where does the change begin? It really begins with the transaction, when we invest our own money in hiring a trainer. And in registering for a class or, you know what, or buying a piece of equipment, whatever it is, we need to feel like we have invested in ourselves so that we really take it seriously. And also so that we know that we can, you know, kind of put the trainer on the hook to them to make sure that we’re getting a quality workout or, you know, training session or whatever it is.

But I think that somewhere along the way, people decided Oh, it’s because you know because it’s online. I mean, trainers decided this because it’s online, I shouldn’t be charging anything? Well, really, I mean, to me, it’s at least as hard to teach my class online as it is to teach it in person. And I still have to program the workouts. Nothing’s changed there. And if anything, it’s gotten harder, because I have to have more options available.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, right. So that’s right. That’s great information. I use the analogy of like a banana and a flaming Yon, how many of us have had seen a banana in our kitchen go bad and throw it out? Right? Many of us have had a fully Manion go bad, none of us, right, because you spent $23 on this piece of meat, you’re going to eat it. So you can’t, you can’t undervalue that. And you have to make sure that you put the right price on what you’re giving. Of course, you don’t want to charge people through the roof. And if there is a scalability aspect, you can lower the price. But that price point is is something that I think a lot of group fitness people and trainers have missed on and it’s and it’s really hurt their business.

Sarah Fuhrmann: Yeah, we’re not trying to gouge people, but also, you know, we all have we have bills to pay and you know, all that stuff. And you know, I don’t think we I don’t think that online is going away. I think people are going to want I think you know, as gyms reopen? Yes, I do. I think people will go back to the gym. Yes, I do think they will go back to the gym, I think we’re gonna want that community aspect.

But I think now that we’ve had a year off, you know, the cake of online and, and on-demand classes and being able to take whatever we want, whenever we want from wherever we want, I think we want that we want to have both want our cake and eat it too, right? We’re gonna want to be able to do the two or three days a week in the gym, and then we’re and then the other four days, we’re going to want to go and still do the yoga class that we started doing in, in the pandemic, or, you know, we still have that peloton, for example, that we invested in, and we’re not going to give it away like, you know, I think I think the future of fitness is not online only.

And I think it’s going to be a hybrid. And I think I heard a great term, the other day that the trainers are going to become the fitness concierge. So we’re going to help people put together programs that include their time with us. But then we’re also going to tell them, alright, for the next six weeks, you’re going to go do cycling workouts, or you’re going to go do rowing workouts or you need some let’s add in some more mobility, let’s have you do this yoga workout or some, you know, whatever the mixes of it, right? It just adds more tools to our toolbox. But I don’t see the people are really when we get to, you know, let’s talk in a year.

But I think in a year, we will find that a lot of people have gone back to the gym, and they’ve just created this, this sort of hybrid model where they’re doing a balance between in-person online, what they normally what they used to do before, right? air quotes, and now they’re going to have maybe a broader mix of things that they like to do. And that’s great because you know, I’m all about finding whatever mix it takes for people to keep moving, you know, for as long as humanly possible in whatever way works for them that keeps them strong that keeps them fit, and keeps them well.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, and we talked a bit again, off-camera before this, and we mentioned It’s very important to find kind of your fitness weaknesses, and strengths and play towards them. So for me, I don’t like yoga and I need to do more yoga. So for me, I just tried it, I cannot do virtual yoga, it’s not for me, I’m mentally not into it. I know that the instructor is not there. I know that there are people not around me, and I just don’t do it. So for yoga, I have to go to a yoga class. But for everything else I love, right. Anything from rowing, to spinning to hit to MMA training, I love it. So I can virtually do it with no problem.

So because I know that I book, yoga classes on-site, those are the ones I go to because I won’t do it on my own. And I think people whether you’re a trainer, looking at your clients, or whether you’re just a fitness Pro, looking at yourself, you have to understand, okay, what are the things that I’m willing to do online? What are the things I’m not willing to do online? Totally, and put that in your mind for clients? So you might have a, you might have a subset of clients who, who love your online stuff, they absolutely love it. But there are probably some of your clients who can’t wait to get back in the gym. So those gyms start to open up, keep that in mind, who is going to be transitioning? Who’s going to be staying? How do I form my business moving forward?

Sarah Fuhrmann: And what do I need to offer them maybe that’s a little bit different. That will, that that will allow me to keep them in like maybe you’re just helping them maybe you’re being a fitness concierge, right? Maybe they’re not training with you in whatever way they were doing it during the pandemic, but maybe they’re still with you because you’re helping them find you’re helping them program a, you know, the right mix for them of classes and rest and whatever else. And I think we just have to get we have to get creative. And if we haven’t learned to be creative in the last year. Well, we’re probably not still in business in fitness, I have to say, I mean, fitness is holy moly, we’ve all had to learn to be creative in the last year.

Steve Washuta: And you know, just to sort of finish up with that point. There are so many different niches from rowing, to maybe personal training for people over 65. I mean, there are so many different avenues, you have to find your Avenue and stick with it. There are so this marketplace is flooded, online.

And in person, there are so many people, but that’s because there are so many people who want it right. So there are enough clients for all of us don’t get you to know, everyone gets rattled. They also, you know, with, with how the I’m gonna go on a tangent here, but how the algorithms work with Facebook and Instagram and all these things.

If you’re a trainer, all you see is trainers. So right, you’ve got the whole world of personal trainers. That’s not right. That’s just the algorithm showing you there’s really not that many of us but it does seem sometimes like the market is flooded.

It’s because there are so many people who want us you can build your business in the right way. Find your niche specialized care about your clients, charge the right prices do the right things. I know it all sounds simple, but that’s what you have to do. It Is about helping people giving people information. It’s not about showing them how in shape you are. It’s not about oh no right picture and No,

Sarah Fuhrmann: not at all. It’s about that it’s about who can help me be a better me I’m not interested in you know, you and you being 10% body fat and like, you know, all ABS I don’t care unless you can deliver that for me, like, you know, I don’t think it matters, I think it matters Can you help me as a client, you know, can you help me get or stay fit, meet my goals, whatever they are, and keep me safe, and not get hurt.

And I think you know, that’s really important. And I love that you talked about finding your niche because that’s how you separate yourself out from what feels like a really flooded marketplace.

Like, are there a gazillion personal trainers online? 100% there are a zillion personal trainers online, but do they all work?

You know, let’s say 65 plus women who love to row No, this many works was 65 You know, I’m pinching my fingers together this many 65 plus women who love to row or you know, you can even go farther down than that 65 fewer women who love to row who live in the pacific northwest of the United States there you know that the number of people you’re competing with there is tiny that’s exactly what you’re competing with the couch like I said before

Steve Washuta :with the couch you’re right and I am again I will shamelessly plug my book as I usually do here Fitness Business 101 what the certifications don’t teach you is my book and I have apart from a section in there a chapter dedicated to niches and not only niches but sub-niches and using sort of your personality with your sub-niche. So you may be I have two different personalities in there.

One’s direct one’s demonstrative direct, maybe somebody who’s more like anatomically prone and they’re really smart and they have their masters and can use geology and they can see the body. And then you might have someone who’s more demonstrative who’s, who is just a puts on a good performance, right? They’re an entertainer.

You use that to your advantage. find your niche. Maybe if you’re a good performer, you want to be in the group class setting, right?

If you’re better at just, you know, maybe you’re not that outgoing but you’re really good with the body and you know everything about the form so maybe you just want to work one on one right and then work from there.

What do you enjoy? Are you enjoy using the TRS suspension trainer? Great, be a T rex instructor Well, what’s another sub-niche of that maybe you’re just training people who are no women over the age of 65, using the TR x for and you show them all the suspension trainer exercises that are best for them at their age with their potential exactly, just you have to work that way. Right?

Find out what you’re best at what you enjoy, find your niche and your sub-niche and you can build your business.

Sarah Fuhrmann : Totally, totally, totally. And I love what you said too, about certifications. Because even though obviously we give one we are great advocates of them in the sense of making sure that you have the base level training to do those modifications and give people what they need and keep them safe and all of that doesn’t end there.

Like you can’t just get a certification and say okay, I’m done. I don’t need to learn anything more.

It really that really just has to be the jumping-off point that has to be sort of your baseline and then you continue to improve from there in all the different ways by getting you to know, learning from mentors doing as much reading as you can, maybe not spending a lot of time on social media don’t get your advice from social media, right like look, you know, learn from credible people who know what they’re talking about.

Pick up a paper you know, a research paper from time to time, and see what’s going on in the research like that’s super important to stay up with too so got you cannot be I think in a successful trainer or group exercise instructor either and, and ever feel like you’ve stopped learning. Yeah, and I’ll ever get there. That’s, that’s, that’s a problem.

Steve Washuta : I’ll add one more thing to that. shadowing. So. As trainers, we love to teach people I’m sure if someone reaches out to Sarah Fermin right now and says, Hey, I love your stuff.

I’m 20 years old. I like rowing. I want to learn more. Do you mind if I like, you know, come watch you teach? Of course, you’re gonna say you love it.

Yeah, well, but you want to teach other people. That’s why we’re in this industry in the first place. I don’t think enough trainers and I have again, I read this my book, enough trainers don’t reach out to other 10 year trainers in the industry like yourself, right? People who have been there, done that and seeing the different avenues and say, Hey, can I shadow you? And it’s and that sort of internship esque experience that is is amazing for people, right?

You’re going to learn not only about the industry, but you’re going to learn all the cueing and all the nuances. And you’re going to get all the dearth of knowledge from a 10-year person so that you can use that for yourself. And I feel like it’s not really offered. It’s not mandatory.

But if people went from if they did this sort of Route, Okay, first I get my certification. Now I find a tenured person who I look up to, and I asked to shadow them for a little bit of time, right? Yeah, while I’m slowly building my business, then yeah, then you can really take off. But in, you know, if you just like you, you mentioned it earlier.

If you want to get 50 or 60 clients, and you have no experience, you’re gonna lose 50 or 60 clients, right? Because you’re not gonna know it’s, you’re not doing the right things.

They’re all up on the screen, they’re doing the right warm, and you’re not talking to them. So spend your time looking for a mentor, and building slowly so that you can actually, you know, hold on to your clients.

Sarah Fuhrmann : Yeah, totally. And take other people’s classes in the group in the group fitness world, take other people’s classes, you know, learn what you like, and don’t like when you’re just getting started.

You don’t even know what you’re doing, you don’t know who you help you don’t know who you want to help you don’t know who you’re passionate about.

So get out there and just, hey, it’s never been easier with the internet, right? Just go take as many classes as you can. And then somewhere, you know, somewhere running through that you will find somebody who really inspires you.

And that’s the person you want to reach out to and say, Hey, could I you know, could you mentor me? Could I follow you? Could I join in on your classes and watch what you do and learn from you? And oh my gosh, I don’t know. I don’t know of anyone in the industry? Who wouldn’t say yes to that?

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s that’s great information. Nobody is worth their salt anyway. You’re right, anybody worth our salt in this industry wants to help young personal trainers, we want to teach people our ways and let them know that there’s a path for you.

So start reaching out. You’re listening all the way. So let’s tell the audience how they find you can go to how they get the information how they sign up for certifications. What you guys, your social media, just lay it all out? How can they find you?

Sarah Fuhrmann:The easiest way to find us is we are at you can go to the letter U can ROW and the number two everywhere @ucanrow2everywhere. That’s our website. We’re on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In, and Twitter, I have account.

I won’t say I use it very often but Probably the easiest places just reach out on Instagram, follow us on Instagram at you can go to or just drop us hit up our mindset website and drop me an email.

I am around and available happy to help love it. Well, helping new trainers get excited about this business get excited about making an impact. And of course, I’ll try to get you into rowing. But if you know if that’s not your thing, that’s okay.

And speaking of that, you talked about 20-year-olds who are getting into the industry, we see a lot of people in our part of the world who are doing this, as you know, later in life, like we just certified instructor the other day who’s 60, he’s retired from what he was doing before, he is going all-in with this.

So if you are 50, plus yourself, we’ve talked a lot about 50 plus athletes, but if you’re a 50 Plus, trainer or somebody who wants to be a 50, plus trainer or a group, exercise instructor, do it, do it, do it, do it, it’s a great time in your life to come into this and to start inspiring people.

It’s a wonderful sort of encore career kind of thing. I cannot say enough wonderful things about it. I started out in journalism, I have a background in public relations and communications and all this stuff. And finally, I’ve been in the fitness space since the 80s.

So I’m kind of an old dog, but I didn’t start doing it full time until about, like I said 12 years ago, so kind of later in life. But it’s a wonderful, wonderful career to take on as the next thing. And don’t let your age stop you from doing it. Because it’s there’s an incredible impact that you can have as with, especially with 50 plus people I would say but you know, as a 50 plus trainer or group exercise instructor, it’s just a wonderful way to go do it.

Steve Washuta : Well, that’s great information. I couldn’t agree more. And then I’m, I also started out and PR and journalism. So cool. We could talk about that off-camera a little bit more.

But yeah, but it brings up something that just registered to me that I want to, I want to sort of finish on people who are jumping into this industry, right? Whether you’re 20 or 50. And maybe you want to get your first rowing certification, or your first personal trainer certification, you confuse your former background in whatever. Before with what you’re doing.

Now, I promise you, I use the analogy. You know, don’t imagine that you’re taking a different path and you’re starting over rather you know, there’s a mason jar. And every mason jar has marbles in it and they represent your career. And those marbles are, let’s say, experiences that you’ve had or little tidbits of knowledge throughout your life.

If you’ve been involved in fitness of any sort, you’ve already put a bunch of marbles into your personal trainer or group fitness instructor, kind of mason jar, right? That’s already half filled up, you know exactly whatever you did, if you played football, if you were someone who did ballet, you understand that kinesiology a little bit and stretching and how to do a squat and all these different things.

So don’t think that you’re coming from this from zero, right? You’ve already set up a skill set, and then you’re gonna have other skill sets that fuse with it right? If you’re a journalism and PR background like we are, well, maybe we’re really gonna copy creation. Yeah, we have a copy. And then we also we’re good with analogies. And we’re good with cueing because we know how to quickly phrase things, yes them into different words, right. So I love that. So think about how your former career can help you, not how you’re starting over.

Sarah Fuhrmann : Oh, totally, totally. And even if you think you know, even if you think you did something that has nothing to do with it, you’re still bringing that experience of you can put yourself in your client’s shoes, you understand, let’s say you were I’m trying to think of something that would be completely unrelated, I’m struggling.

But let’s say you were a corporate attorney or something like that, or a banker or something like that, then you can completely understand exactly how that person who is killing themselves working 14 hour days feels at the end of the day and can’t figure out how to drag themselves to do any kind of a workout, you know that.

That piece of empathy. I feel like it’s so important for trainers to really be able to say, not just you know, I get what it’s like to work long days, but for example, but to be able to say I get it because I did it. And so I completely understand exactly how you felt when you were absolutely exhausted and all you wanted to do was go home and have dinner and go to bed.

But here’s what I can tell you because I did this eye if you can make yourself do a five-minute workout just to start that will help you start to feel better and that will set you on the path and you know, you go on and you tell that story and storytelling is so important.

That empathy, that empathy side of really understanding where people are coming from. The older we get the more of those sort of stories and experiences and empathetic moments we have at our in our capacity to grab and use to help move people towards their goals and help push them along and help them feel understood.

And that is just such an important part of this process. People really need to feel like they’re not alone like their trainer gets them.

And then that’s how they build a connection with you. So Steve is the guy who can help me because he does understand exactly where I’ve been. We all know we’re looking for that person who is a step or two ahead of us, we’re not looking for that person who’s so far ahead of us, we can’t even connect with them.

That’s why for example, the 10%, body fat, you know, 16 pack abs person doesn’t really appeal to my audience. We want that person who understands us and understands what it takes to get where they want to go.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, the human element is so important. Talk about it. Almost every podcast, you know, the personal side of personal training and group fitness and, you know, 100%, to know your clients, child’s name than it is to know their overactive muscles, you have to connect with them, Oh, my gosh, yes, you’re gonna you’re going to lose them.

Again. We’re not physical therapists, you’re not someone’s not coming to you to fix one thing and then leaving you, your hope is that they’re there with you for life. So you might build a relationship with them. And that’s, that’s great information.

So well, I love it. I think we hit on everything. Thank you so much for your time, Sarah. Remember, guys, @ucanrow2everywhere  get your certification, understand the proper movements, and the parlance to use with your clients so that you can be creative. And hopefully, we’ll talk again soon on another podcast. 

Sarah Fuhrmann: Oh, my gosh, I’d love to anytime. Thank you so much. And thanks for listening, everybody. 

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

Thanks again!


YOUTUBE VIDEO: Rowing 101 with Sarah Fuhrmann



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