Thursday, June 17, 2010

We have moved....

Check out my new site at where I will be continuing my blogging from now on. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Changing the way fitness is done. Period.

This past week our manager of Results Fitness, Cameron Hedges (who is a rock star by the way) sent out a team email to our team at the gym and at the end he said- "We are changing the way fitness is done. Period." I loved this and have been using it ever since because that is truly what we are passionate about is changing the way fitness is done and encouraging more people to get "hooked" on fitness the way it is done and should be done now.

The first person to start to shake this industry up and tell people- "Aerobics Classes are Dead!" "Machines are no more!" "Personal Trainers as you know them are done!" "This industry is changing!" was Thomas Plummer.

It was over ten years ago and Alwyn and I had just opened our doors of what was then called Cosgrove Fitness and Sports Training Systems, now known as Results Fitness. We were the trainers who had gone to every certification, had every training book, had every letter we could get after our name and were not happy with the industry we were in. The gyms we worked at had very poor standards for their trainers and for their business as a whole. We did not see a long term career for ourselves working at any of the gyms we were at and had to figure something else out. What did we do?

Opened a Business! We had no idea what we were doing, no idea how to run a business, not a clue on what profit and loss was, or what it meant when our clients would ask us- "Are you in the black?" All we knew is that we could get people in shape and we hoped that was enough. But 6 months in to it with our first two employees working for us we had no money, were working insane hours and our employees were living the life, buying new cars while we could not even take a day off for a vacation and scrounged every month to pay the bills. Up to our ears in personal credit card debt, owned an old used Dodge that we shared, lived in an apartment that was a half hour away where the rent was less expensive(and in a neighborhood that we got broken in to and robbed 7 months after opening our business). We were feeling like there was no way out and knew this was not the long term plan for our life.

We went looking for an answer- We had heard of Thomas Plummer and had one of his books and saw he was having a seminar coming up. Could we afford to go? Could we take the time off? ....Looking back, we could not afford not to go. I went by myself because at the time we couldn't afford for both of us to go and take time off because someone had to keep the gym open and train clients.

At the time Thomas Plummer HATED trainers. He told a great story about a trainer who holds a stick while he trains his clients and Thom saw him hang his client upside down doing bicep curls yelling "Squeeze!" and Thom ended up getting in an all out brawl with the guy. This story was hilarious (especially Thom telling it) and very typical of what was out there in our industry and exactly why Alwyn and I decided to open our own gym because we did not want to be on the same team with the guy hanging his clients upside down yelling "Squeeze!" But we also did not want to be a slave to our business for the rest of our life.

I was the trainer in the front row of Thom's seminar who as Thom says, by the end of his seminar had my arms folded across my chest because "WE ARE DIFFERENT..."  Thomas Plummer has a way of inspiring you and pulling out the best in you, a true coach with an innate ability to get your wheels turning of what is possible. Leaving this very first seminar was life changing in so many ways. Although most of his advice was for big membership based gyms, I took what he taught and applied it to our small 1000 square foot personal training gym at the time. I had many Aha's and a list of action steps we could take leaving the seminar. I came home and stayed up all night writing our first employee manuals, figuring out our numbers, working on our marketing plan, coming up with our systems and for the first time working ON our business, not IN our business. Thom had introduced us to the concept of having an "Exit Strategy" which has ever since been built in to everything we do.

I discussed with Alwyn having a system of him writing all of the programs and that our trainers would do the programs he wrote with our clients. Alwyn looked at me like I was nuts and couldn't believe how this seminar had driven me to get as much done that week on our business as I did. And he couldn't help but get hooked into the contagious drive Thomas Plummer had ignited to work on our business and make it work. Both of us went to work applying what I had learned.

We became Thomas Plummer followers. Whatever Thom told us to do we did it. We took his advice, didn't question it, just did it, applied it to our small gym and made it work. We attended his seminars, his advanced seminars, read his books over and over again and went from being trainers to owning a business. That first seminar with Thomas Plummer was a turning point for us in our business and our life.

Thom is not afraid to say it like it is and make you think. We always appreciate that no matter how much we implement and get done, Thom always has something else to pull us just an inch further to be even better. He has been our coach throughout the ten years we have been in business and has pulled the best out of us and our business and continues to do that.

We are celebrating ten years since we opened the doors of Results Fitness next month having just closed our most successful quarter ever.  That first seminar with Thomas Plummer and every seminar, conversation, phone call, email, article of his, and book since has changed our mindset and our direction forever. He got us hooked into business and hooked into studying and reading business books, studying other companies like Starbucks, Zappos, and Virgin Atlantic opening our minds to what we could learn.

We were no longer just trainers, we are now business owners, thinking like business owners, reading business books and studying other businesses and our turning point was meeting Thomas Plummer 10 years ago. It is amazing looking back because now 10 years later we have come full circle and have trainers who are in the same position we were in 10 years ago asking us for business advice because we have been able to set up a gym that runs on systems, generates a profit and is not dependent on us. We have found a new passion in studying and applying business concepts to the fitness industry, coaching other fitness professionals and changing the way fitness is done all because of that first turning point of meeting Thomas Plummer.

So naturally when Thom's newest book came out, Where did that member go? We had to get a copy and I have to say of all the books he has written this book sums everything up and really is THE source every gym owner should have and should buy for every one of your staff. I have purchased one for every team member on our staff and it will be our training manual for our staff trainings the next few months.

Thom has always taught us that member service is what makes us different and that we need to really use that and be the best at having legendary customer service. We always thought our clients came to us for our scientific training programs and our cutting edge fitness philosophies - but Thom taught us that our clients come to us for the experience and our legendary customer service. We embraced the mission statement Thom gave us - We Are The Best Part of Our Member's Day Everyday! And our entire team yells this as a team cheer on a regular basis and lives by this mission statement. Thom encouraged us to focus on the customer service aspect of what we do and the experience we create for our customers and it has led to a busier and busier gym, with more people absolutely "Wow'ed" by our customer service. Just last week one of our newest members asked one of our front desk team(we call them the "We Got Your Back Team") how all of us remember everyone's name and if we had a trick. She was amazed that everyone on our team remembered every single member's name and that we actually don't have a trick. The key is that we really do care about our members and focus on getting to know them, who they are, what they are about and providing customer service like they have never experienced. Our gym truly becomes their home and we welcome them to it everyday as our "guest." Thanks to Thomas Plummer and his concepts of treating your members like your guest and the mission statement - We are the best part of our member's day everyday!

We will continue to nurture the environment we create for our members by training our staff and living by one of our core values which is constant learning and never ending improvement. Our text book will be Thomas Plummer's new book-

Our goal at Results Fitness is to "Change the way fitness is done. Period." and thanks to the advice, ongoing support, books, seminars and ideas from Thomas Plummer we are able to take on that as our mission helping our clients, helping other trainers and living the life we want to live. If you are a trainer, a gym owner, or work in a gym or are thinking about working in the fitness industry or you have a trainer you can get it for do yourself a favor and buy the above book and learn the concepts Thom teaches and apply them and join in the movement to change the way fitness is done. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Act As If and get out of If...Then...Thinking.

Fit Female Credo #1 - 
Act as if you are a Fit Female

Get out of "if...then" thinking. Many women are guilty of this "If...Then" thinking when it comes to our bodies. We never stop and enjoy - Now. I recently read the book, Drive by Daniel Pink where he talks about this in relation to management and leading a team in a company. This was interesting stuff which I immediately started to think how I could apply it in our business. He talks about using intrinsic motivators as the way to drive people to give their best long term instead of using "If....Then" motivators or extrinsic motivators.  

And then I realized this is also a very powerful concept to use with my clients and the people I coach. In his book, he touches on using this with your health and weight loss as well and it made me think....

Many women are in the mindset of "If...Then." Especially when it comes to the scale- "If" I weigh X "then" I'll feel good. Feel Good starting NOW and live by Fit Female Credo #1 and start to act as if! Start to tune in to how you feel and the intrinsic motivation you have to drive yourself to accomplish what you want to accomplish. 

I was actually reminded of this recently because I have a Red Covertible Toyota Solara that I have had for 6 years. It is paid off and I still enjoy it. For my birthday recently I decided to get it all fixed up and get all of the evidence of anything I had ever backed into removed(I am infamous for backing in to things...). For the 6 years I have owned it I had accumulated quite a few dings and I hadn't been parking it in our garage. I started to think....eventually when I get my next new nice car then I'll take care of it. But then I realized that I was using "If...Then" thinking. "If" I had a new, nice car, "then" I will park it in the garage and take care of it. I decided that I would get my Toyota fixed up, looking brand new and start parking it in the garage and treat it exactly AS IF it is my brand new dream car. It is amazing how instantly my car now feels like a brand new dream car to me.  

This is the same as your body. You will never enjoy your body, if you keep putting off enjoying it weigh X amount of weight or until you are a size such and such....

Are you guilty of "If...Then" thinking? Start to catch yourself and change your mental dialogue. Enjoy your fit female body today and start acting as if and really tune in to how it feels to be fit and feel good about yourself! 

Re read the Fit Female Credo in my book and keep yourself focused on making progress but also enjoying the progress you have made so far. 

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Female Body Breakthrough Book Tour

On of my stops on The Female Body Breakthrough Book Tour was at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego. Check out the clip from the talk I did. It was so great to meet and help get the women their started on their fit female journey...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Secret Reason You Have A Pooch!

inspired by an email exchange with Adam Campbell, author of The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU!

Working hard to lose fat but you just can’t lose that stubborn fat on your tummy? Here’s a little secret…When you sit all day----as almost all of us do----your butt muscles turn off. This causes your hip bone to tilt forward which puts stress on your back—causing, yes, lower back pain—but it also pushes your belly out. So you look like you have a gut, even if you don’t have an ounce of fat! This is also the case if you are spending a lot of time in spinning classes which are a huge culprit for tightening the hip flexors and creating this pooch. I talk about this in The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want and include an exercise that will help fix that!

The hip extension and all you need is your bodyweight. This exercise will stretch out your hip flexors, engage your core and switch on your butt muscles which will lead to your hips getting into the right position flattening out your pooch!

Position: Lie on your back on the ground, arms outstretched at 90 degrees from the body. Bend one knee so the foot is flat on the floor as it would be in a sit up.

Movement: Keeping the other leg straight and in line with the trunk at all times, drive down with the bent knee foot, causing the body to lift. The top of the movement is when the straight leg is in line with the thigh of the bent knee, which is about a 45 degree position. Make sure the body is straight at this point and both hips are even.

For more secrets on losing your belly fat, 
check out the latest article up  - 

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Me vs. the Vegan

I was invited to speak for a group in our area last week (I try to get in front of a group locally twice a month as a form of marketing for our gym each month). This particular group was a group of women - my specialty! The organizer did tell me that there would be another speaker and then I would be up.

I got there on time and took a seat in the audience as the first speaker started to do his talk. This became very awkward as he started to preach about his Vegan lifestyle and how it is the only way. This was especially awkward because I had a few of our clients in the audience who were nudging me his entire talk because they knew I disagreed with what he was saying. I sat quietly listening, even as he completely contradicted concepts I have in my book, saying that there is no scientific evidence that we NEED protein. (Ahem- there are 3 studies cited in my references)

Now, don't get me wrong- I have HUGE respect for anyone who can be a complete Vegan. Heck I have HUGE respect for anyone who can be a vegetarian. It takes incredible self discipline and planning to follow this kind of lifestyle. I simply don't agree that it is FOR everyone. I, myself, spent 10 years of my life not eating any red meat.

I decided one day that I thought red meat wasn't good for me and that I was going to eliminate it from my diet and stuck to it for 10 years. It wasn't until I started to learn more and more about nutrition and how a lot of the foods I was eating(besides red meat) were wreaking a lot more havoc on my body than a lean, high quality steak would. I started questioning myself- why am I not eating red meat again? For health reasons? Then I also need to eliminate all processed foods, sugar, etc because those are a lot worse for me and are what really cause health problems. This was the wake up call that having a steak was something I was avoiding for the wrong reasons. I had bought in to the world view that red meat was bad for you...but was it? I don't believe so now and think it should be a part of most people's diet in moderation(preferably from an Organic source).

The Vegan continued to discuss how all of our health problems are because we eat protein and protein containing foods have cholesterol- BAD!. He himself eats a zero cholesterol diet but he also admitted that he is on the borderline for needing to go on cholesterol lowering medication. "If you don't eat some cholesterol your body will produce more cholesterol!!!" I wanted to stand up in the middle of his talk so many times...but I didn't...I sat in my chair and exercised restraint. He proceeded to put up a list of meats, dairy and things that are on my grocery list and labeled them with - BAD. And then he put up Oatmeal, Broccoli and a loaf of bread and said- GOOD! Since when are a loaf of bread and broccoli in the same category????

Again I have complete respect for anyone who follows a Vegan diet for ethical or religious reasons. My issue is when people preach that it is healthier for you which is what he was teaching.

These recommendations were looking very similar to the old food guide pyramid with a base of all of your carbohydrates and moving up the pyramid to eat protein sparingly. The exact food guide pyramid that since being followed, our society has become more and more obese and we have had an increase in childhood obesity and diabetes.

FINALLY - He finished and it was my would I approach this awkward situation? I know all of my clients were dying to know how I was going to respond. So I started by discussing exercise and how we need to shift our paradigms with exercise...I figured, let's not jump into the nutrition just yet...(Oh, and he was using Dave Scott as an example because Dave Scott did an Ironman as a Vegan and seemed to do ok on minimal protein...huh??? How can this audience of women in their 30s and 40s trying to find 2 hours a week to exercise use Dave Scott as an example?).

I proceeded and stuck to my talk, what I know to be true and what I know to work in my experience and in the research. I did not want to go into defense mode but instead I started with what we have in common - "As our earlier speaker was stating fruits and vegetables are VERY IMPORTANT part of a healthy diet and you should eat them at every single meal." Then basically I had to "relabel" his foods and make the loaf of bread a splurge and explain that bagels, loafs of bread and all processed carbohydrates will wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Which is why you need protein to change your body- because it will blunt insulin and keep your blood sugar stable. So, I had to remove the "BAD" label from Chicken breast explaining that it actually is a part of a healthy diet and so is cottage cheese(if you don't have a dairy sensitivity), etc...

I always try to learn from everyone and I realize that his journey has brought him to these conclusions and I have respect for that. In my experience, I have never been able to get the results of helping someone to lose body fat and transform their body with a client who is a Vegan or a Vegetarian. It is always much more difficult.

The funny thing was the email I received after the event of the visual of me versus him-

"You were completely awesome last night. In spite of some seriously potential awkwardness, you were just phenomenal. By the way, it would have been a most interesting visual to have the two of you stand side-by-side: he, the sunken, colorless picture of emaciation; you, the vibrant example of good health, inside and out---shiny hair, glowing skin, bright eyes, etc. Rachel, you were incredibly gracious, plus very inspiring."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A guest post- Lift for Haiti

Today's Post is from a friend who has organized "Lift for Haiti" where they will attempt to lift a ton of weight(literally) and in the process raise money for Haiti.

Please help him out on his quest to make a difference. Click Here to make a donation

Click Here to make a donation.