Happy Sunday Motivators! It’s time for another “This Week on the Motivate Forums”! Grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage and soak in the great conversations that were had! We hazed 5 new members into the Collective! Looking forward to having great conversations with Jae Aube, Lauren Snyder, Lars Mårten Häggquist, Sam Sacket, and Anastacia Ciau!

  • Fellow Motivators Josh Hillis and Daniel John continued to receive praise from the Collective on their new book, Fat Loss Happens on Monday.
    • Andrew McGunagle wrote about how the book “opened up some great new lines of communication about [clients’] eating habits and what we can work on.”
  • Michelle Burmaster released another meme highlighting 167 Fat Loss Habits, featuring her intern (and Collective member), Jae
  • Parker J Burns asked for help on writing and blog promotion, which led to some great responses:
    • Matt McGunagle said: "Post it on your own blog/website first. If it's something you're proud of and want to share with a bigger audience you can always reach out to other trainers to republish on their blog or fitness website. James had an excellent for the Appsumo team about this: http://email1k.com/course/lesson-4/"
    • Stevo said: "I wrote this tutorial for people who want to write for Habitry, Co. It's specifically how academics can write for other coaches, but I think you can extrapolate a lot from it to write for a lay audience. https://www.dropbox.com/.../I%E2%80%99m%20Not%20Stupid.."
    • Josh Hillis said: "Write a blog post every week. Say just one thing per post. Write with a specific client in mind. Make sure it's actionable content, and not philosophizing, most of the time."
    • Andrew McGunagle said: "Hey Parker, I'd definitely recommend starting with a personal blog, but EliteFTS is a pretty easy site to get published on as you're getting going. One small piece of general advice is to write stuff that is unique. There are so many blogs and websites out there with the same articles saying the same things (Top 10 Superfoods, 5 Bench Press Variations, Why Spot Reduction is a Myth, etc.) . Distinguish yourself by writing about your thoughts and experiences."
  • Seth Munsey keeps breaking the Internet. Check out his fantastic blog post about the power of letting your clients choose their own metrics: What’s Your Clients Scorecard?
    • This sparked an excellent discussion on Jahed Momand’s wall between Coach Stevo and Matt Talley about process versus outcome goal-setting.
  • Michelle Burmaster asked for advice on how to deal with clients that pay but do not attend
    • Aron Rightious said: "is there *something* they could come in for? Stretch, foam roll, mobility drills. Something that isn't so much a sweat session, but gets the "go to the gym" groove going again?"
    • Josh Hillis said: "I always start people back at lower volume. So they know their first workout back they just do one set of everything. Next workout, two sets, etc."
    • Omar Atlas said: "I run online groups, so my experience is from that. Do you collect their email when they sign up? Send them weekly member highlights (after getting permission to email, obviously) of how other clients (similar to them) are kicking ass. The idea is to remind them how awesome your facility is and how easy and painless it is to get back in"
    • Seth Munsey said: "I send them an email.

Subject Line: We Miss You!


Hi (name)!


Just checking in to see how you are doing.


We miss seeing you in class!!


Have a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing you back in class again soon.



  • That usually works most of the time. They pretty much always respond back with a thank you for checking in and why they've been absent.I'm sure I could tweak the wording to make it better, but it works for now."
    • Stevo said: "I'm mostly online too, so I'm pulling this outta my Evidence-Based Ass, but at Motivate SLC, Geoffrey Hemingway mentioned that Mark Fisher Fitness (where he works) gets "get well soon" and "sympathy cards" and has all the trainers in the gym and all the members in the afflicted person's class sign them. I think that you can use a similar tact with lapsed members IF you're VERY careful not to make them feel guilty or judged." If someone hasn't been around in a while, how about sending them a card from as many people at your gym as possible that says, "We know holidays are hard. So we wanted you to know there's always a spot for you here when this crap is over." But if someone is showing up, just being inconsistent I don't think you need to freak out. Just say, "hey, holidays are hard. I totes get it." Then ask them if there's anything you can do to support them. the key is to make them feel supported and welcome (no matter how infrequently they show up) and not singled out or judged.
  • Sarah A Chapman wrote a post full of gratitude to the Motivate Collective! We <3 you too, Sarah!
  • Lauren Synder asked for advice on how to start online group coaching as a relatively new coach, which sparked an interesting discussion on what you can learn as a coach from group versus 1-on-1 coaching
  • Sean Flanagan asked “What do you guys do when you're worried that a client is pursuing pseudoscientific faux-medical care?”, which struck a chord with many Motivators
    • Amber Evangeline Rogers said: "The answer I gave sean offline was: refer to a real medical professional, as we are not qualified to be giving diet advice to people with medical conditions."
    • Mickela Mitchell said: "I'm curious if you've looked into the professional they're working with? I think we're going to see more of this. Especially with clients having the ability to work with them online via web cam chats. There are reputable natural minded docs out there - and lots of clients don't want to be on the prescriptions conventional MDs would put them on (ex: statins). I would be interested in building a list of reputable naturopaths as a resource for clients who are drawn toward that."
    • Stevo said: "I think a good way to frame this question is, "How do you work with people who have a different worldview than you as a practitioner? Where do you draw the lines between your scope of practice and the other professionals that your clients work with? http://habitry.com/scope/"
    • Robert Fernandez said: "The worry of not doing enough is one we must deal with silently as professionals. Reinforcement or dismissal of anything beyond our scope or legal obligation to report on is not beneficial to all clients in all cases. It is beyond our scope because there is consensus that even though we are more educated on the matter, we aren't the ultimate authority and are not qualified to condemn not condone."
    • Georgie Fear said: "If I have concerns about what a client is doing being potentially unsafe or ineffective I share them every time, but don't insist they stop. It doesn't really bother me since usually it is safe and only a waste of time. And I state it that way, as a concern. "I have concerns that XYZ may be unsafe for you because (evidence)." or if applicable, "I am concerned that you might be spending money/energy time on a process which is scientifically not supported for that benefit, however I also think it is unlikely to harm you so I don't think safety is an issue (homeopathy, acupuncture). While there's always a chance alternative practices could help, I just feel I should let you know that (XYZ) is supported by more evidence to be effective."
    • Matt Talley sad: "Sean I don't think you're playing along unless you say something like "Oh yeah homeopathy is totes effective and sadly underrated." If you're practicing your deadpan face that's the best you can do unless you think the client is someone who can benefit from and HANDLE dissenting viewpoints. I say it depends on the client and your relationship with them. Are they easily offended and quick to get defensive? Never take their word for it but find out for yourself sooner rather than later. Most clients/humans immediately trigger fight or flight when they are challenged and unfortunately many take a dissenting viewpoint, even if delivered with perfect assertiveness, as a big challenge. If a client has shown themselves to be this way (they all show who they are, whether we see what they're showing us or not) then I would not share your views on homeopathy or whatever other thing that you two obviously and fundamentally disagree on. Living in Seattle WA where everyone and their dog has a chiropracter, naturopath, acupuncturist, and is eating a gluten free paleo diet specially modified for their blood type.... it's safe to say I'm something of a professional tongue biter."
  • KC Ushijima shared an interesting post combining ideas in the art of magic with health and fitness.
  • Chris Highcock shared an article on creating systems that help you focus on the process
  • Coach Stevo shared an article on what actually matters in health and fitness
  • Eleni Saltas riffed on Seth Munsey’s post on using clickers to motivate clients, check it out!