In the few first emails of booking the internships, I ask them to give me a little rundown of what they did before, what they would like to work on, and based on that, I build their own private internship. I have nothing but respect for someone who are willing to leave their comfort zone, and work on their weaknesses. I get trainers, from all over the world, some are way more successful then they think they are, some are on their way to the top and some are just beginning to understand what it is to be a real personal trainer/strength coach.
I have done my fair share of mistakes and learned from them, and I know a thing or two about lifting after more than 20 years in gyms and learning from some of the best. Like I tell all my interns, and clients, never stop learning, which is why I still spend big bucks every year into some internships, seminars and courses for myself. Even at my busiest, I gather up some questions, find the time to just call and get a private consult.
However, everything I learned may not apply to different needs, so that’s why these internship are not aimed at how successful I am, it’s how successful my interns can be. It’s about them, not me. Sure, I will use whatever I have learned up to this day, but still, I have to adapt to their needs, which is the same for every single clients we will come across in our industry.
In our usual learning fashion, here is the top 5 things I always go over with my interns, wether they like it or not.
My specialization is hockey and soccer. Although most of the soccer world is about 20 years behind in their methodologies, those who I have coached have had a lot of success. Years ago, I turned down a pro team. They understood my plan, but still wanted me to follow their school of thoughts, which in their eyes, was successful (my ass, why the heel were they in my office then?). I turned them down gently by telling them that I wouldn’t be able to work with this kind of outdated “school of thoughts”. Would have been nice in my C.V., but I’m not a fuckin whore.
Hockey is my baby. Been working with kids and pros for a while, so I know a thing or two about hockey training. We go over off-season training and in-season conditioning. There is no big secrets in periodization. There is plenty of good books out there, but the secret lies in the coach and the athletes themselves. The needs dictate the proper planification to reach the end goal. A few hours of the internships are reserved to go over different scenarios in given populations or athletes.
As you will read in point number 5, as good as it is to follow a given program, fuck things up once in a while. Just for fun, yes, you are allowed to have fun too. Your client might not find it fun to go through a surprise kill session, but they will always thank you for it…after…a few hours…or days….later…
I big part of what we do happens in the first five minutes (in my opinion).
-That’s when you know if you can and if you want to work with them
-If you can’t find in under an hour (10 minutes maximum) 2 or 3 problems that you need to work on, I’m sorry, go back in your books.
-Don’t try to impress them, keep it simple. Giving them all your knowledge in the first session is worthless. Listen to their needs because it’s about them, not you.
So you get the drift, all simple little things that can have a great impact on your business, how you practice and the whole shebang.
4. Hold your own
Most trainers, which I haven’t had in any of my interns yet, fail to try their own workouts before prescribing them to their clients. I am not saying to train like a mofo 7 days a week to show the example. All I am saying is that some might post training or give them to clients, without knowing how hard (or easy) it might be. At least, look like you train and you can deal with whatever you throw at them.
Like in, stop taking ourselves so seriously. We like to get the job done, but that does not imply that we have to go for the kill every time. Yes, programming and planification is essential for results, but we must not forget why we started training in the first place. It was some kind of calling. Some might have started because they wanted to lose weight, or just because they liked to challenge themselves every sessions. However, those who last more than a few months, just can’t stop. Why? The challenge. Hence the fact that every sessions don’t have to be robotic and dictated by a given program.
I like to change things around often. You don’t have to change the full program, just the strength curves, angles, grips, chains, bungees, etc. Most of the year will be goal driven and based on a specific program, but I break “them/clients” by giving surprise sessions. To show them how they can be challenged anytime, to stay on their guards and to push the envelope once in a while to break beat. Is it how a strength coach should work? Fuck no, but it’s not just about us.
This is about 10% of what goes on during internships. All you need is the never ending will to learn. I won’t talk about the other 6 hours of Private Olympic lifting lessons with one of the best, Pierre Roy and the other 10 + hours of training my interns go through during their stay. You need to come to experience it first hands. Here is what they had to say about their time with Us. If by any chance you are lucky enough to live near their location or would like to work with them, I highly recommend each and every one of them. They are all amazing coaches that truly love what they do.
Thank you guys for coming. I am truly honoured that you all came from far and away to spend time with me. I wish you all the best and with what I have seen with my time with you, success will be the only outcome. Keep up the great work guys!
Here is one of the first ones who came for an internship, Luke Watson, from the UK. Very proud of what he accomplished since he came. Here is a little recap I did back then.
“I first came across Eric Falstrault and BODHI FIT when I was browsing Facebook pages for work. I was unaware at this point that I had not only stumbled across a truly amazing source of info but was about to start planning one of the truly most amazing experiences I have ever had.
After months of reading and getting to know just what Eric was about I decided I needed to go and see this man and learn from him, I’m not sure what it was about the articles I read or the vibe I was getting but I just connected with it.
3 months later, and I’m there ready to meeting Eric. 9.00am sharp a blue jeep arrives. From what I had read and heard about this man I was expecting a man with a red face and horns to appear, but fortunately for me Eric looked just like his picture.
Right from the word go it was all about me and exactly what I wanted to know, I was given the chance to explain me and what I do. This proved to be a valuable 30 minutes for me, as you never really understand yourself until someone asks you to explain what you are about.
At no point in my 5 days did I ever feel that this internship was about how good Eric was or how successful he was, it was 100% about raising my confidence in what I do and aiming to fulfill everything I had traveled there for. The best thing about this is that there no ego in Eric’s gym only a great atmosphere which reeks of enthusiasm and passion for the clients.
Whilst I was over there Eric arranged for me to see Pierre Roy. I am new to Olympic lifting and was really curious as to perfecting my technique. If you have never met Pierre Roy I would certainly recommend going to see him. Not only because he wipes the floor with you for 3 hours, but because I learned so much about technique and how to train someone properly. It’s now Wednesday and 8 days since I last trained with my hamstrings and I am still unable to bend more than 45 degrees without grimacing, or thinking about Eric and Pierre and how they mutilated me for a week! Thanks Pinocchio and Pierre.
Throughout the week as I learned more and more, I started to see that coming to Bodhi was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was taught how to coach better, program design better, read lab tests better, consult in a more professional manner, and discovering the quick route to optimal health issues with the client. The list is endless.
From my short time there I have taken so much from Eric and how he works. I have truly been inspired by my experience and feel that I have gained a true friend.
If you are looking to make a smart investment soon I would 100% recommend going to see Eric. I have only been home 4 days and I am already putting what I learned into practice. It was a humbling, painful and altogether fantastic trip that I will never forget and hey you may even end up with a calendar business at the end of it all!!!
Eric thank you for an amazing time and helping me achieve greatness in what I do.”
-Luke Watson, UK
“My private internship with Eric was one of the best experiences of my career as a personal trainer. Over the past four years I have attended from four to six seminars a year. I am always able to learn priceless information, which is relevant to my profession. Most of the courses/seminars I have participated in have been with groups of people from all over the world. I have loved these experiences because I’ve made some really good connections with people who have share my passions. The only problem with working with groups is many times you run into questions that are tough to answer without an individualized approach or a one-on one setting. This is the main reason I chose to work privately with Eric. I was able to focus on addressing my individual concerns. I really enjoyed the time we spent together especially the Q and A where I could pick his brain on a variety of topics such as Biosignature protocols, nutrition, training, and best business practices. I liked the fact that I was in a position to make an outline of what I wanted to learn during my internship. He also connected me with one of my mentors Pierre Roy and I had the pleasure of training with Pierre for four hours on Day 2 of the internship. The progressions and his consultation procedures were very helpful for me in putting the final touches on how I perform them. He shared some great resources for consultations, business ideas, equipment contacts, research, and he recommended some phenomenal books to help me in the future. Finally, if I had to select one thing I specialized in, it would be fat loss. Eric is one of the best at losing body fat in very short time frames. Eric is one of the best in the field and his reputation speaks for itself. Thanks Eric, money well spent.
-Nick Klein, USA
“The more world class coaches I meet, the more I realize how simple they keep it. This is not to say that it is easy, rather, through their years of training people they each have their own unique individual approach which they have grafted and worked hard to achieve. It is not a one size fits all but a multifaceted one, everything is taken into consideration and then boiled down, refined, honed and then given.
Eric is no exception. I had five very intense days of work. We covered everything I asked about and a whole lot more. The more you talk to Eric the more you understand how much practical knowledge is there and the longer you spend in his company the better you get to understand and be able to apply what he is telling you. Eric was more than generous. I trained a whole host of clients and was taught a whole range of topics of which I am truly grateful.
On day 2 and 4 I met Pierre Roy which is and should be on any aspiring coaches list of things to do. Pierre grasped what it was I needed and we set to work. Lift after lift, jump after jump, talking, combining, perfecting, repeating. This man is humble, generous and understands his trade and because he is a master of this he can relate it to what he calls and I 100% agree, corridor sports.
I will not give too much away as being there in person is far better and I could carry on writing about this for pages, but I will leave you with this thought;
Keeping it simple and knowing what and why you are doing it, is for those that have mastered their crafts and we each must go through differing phases of learning and applying, but by learning from these people you can accelerate your progress exponentially They are ready and willing to help, to give of their time, generosity and knowledge, so take the opportunity and do it.”
-Sefton Clarke, UK
Here is a great round up of Russell Childers, Head coach of Paramount performance and rehab.
“The very first thing I want you to take away from this is: If you are a trainer; invest in yourself & your business, if you’re a trainee; invest in yourself & the future of yourself & loved ones!
This past week I was in Montreal, Canada studying with Coach Eric Falstrault of bodhifitonline.com/blog . Eric is a 15+ year veteran of the iron game, PICP 5, ND and coach of gold medal olympians, executives, aspiring young athletes, a few wives, and all in between.
The reason why I decided to travel across the continent to invest in my business was simply results. But what I found was SO MUCH MORE. If I’ve ever seen anyone go above and beyond in their field, Eric epitomized that!
The internship started with a recap of our physical goals, a structural balance test, mobility and muscle test. Within 5 minutes Eric had pinpointed discrepancies and remedies for what had been going on with myself physically. We then began one of our 10 training sessions which in total tallied up to 14 hours! Needless to say that all of our trainings were effective and difficult, I’m still sore from 5 days ago. Coach also included 6 hours of olympic lifting (snatch, clean & jerk) sessions with oly technique legend, PICP 5, and Olympic Medal coach Pierre Roy, you can read more on Pierre here (.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/369/The_Life_and_Strong_Times_of_Pierre_Roy.aspx)
Now that is the majority of “what we did” but to myself the more important part about internship is “what I took away.” The level of seamless precision, persistent motivation, endless care, and the commitment to excellence as a coach but also not neglecting the human element was quite impressive! You could never learn this craft from a book. Many coaches I’ve seen and what is common practice in the field write the program and do not allow for any factors to even budge a rep or tempo, I’ve been guilty of this myself. I learned very quickly from Eric that; A, never underestimate the bodies ability to adapt as it has not obligation to fit into our definitions and/or goals B, many times the ingredients change the recipe. What this means is that educate yourself as much as possible in your field but understand that even though you may have giant set planned for legs, if your clients personal life goes crazy they will have no ability to perform efficiently So do you send them off for another day, or change the plan to better fit the demand? You have to see these things in practice rather than read the application. It all comes down to “running a training business.”
To consistently produce results in our industry one most posses the soft people skills needed for a healthy trainee/coach relationship but at the same time take passionate ownership as THE captain of the ship and demand what is required out of the trainees so that by end of the day they are getting more than what they’ve invested in.
Now, in traditional educational fashion:
10 things I learned from Eric Falstrault.
1. The way of the masters is simplicity.
2. As a coach, or business owner/employee, be situationally aware of your legacy and what the people/habits of which you consistently associate yourself with. You only have one shot at this, position yourself daily to summit your mountain!
3. With General Population trainees, make the workouts challenging and fun, yet not terminal. That is, unless they think you can’t
4. Understanding the clients character & what challenges them in life then relaying that to their program & the methodology in which you train holds trump with results.
5. Cardio & its equipment is not evil, but proper energy system program design using a rower, Jacob’s Ladder, and spin bike are the best.
6. When being refuted by medical professionals, use respect and ask questions, such as “please show me where protein and fats as breakfast create cholesterol problems.” Use data and research, not opinion to get the point accross.
7. With olympic lifting technique, think of it as a snipers target. Any exercise, technique or design that does not fit within that target will not achieve results. If it’s not an advantage, it’s a disadvantage.
8. The better you are at something the more stimulus is needed to overload progress for results. So, often do the opposite of what you have been, you won’t regret it.
9. You must learn! Find the masters that came before you, ingest, use & honour their information and ways so that you do not repeat history, remake mistakes so that you can continue their legacy!
10. You have entire control of your destiny and results, you put yourself in whatever situations arise. If you passively surround yourself with enablers & consistently avoid the conflict that is needed to resurrect positivity and progress the fear becomes the reality. So don’t fish for or allow sympathy to validate present circumstances as “normal” as it will only prolong, toss off the negative leeches that surround you, grab a gear and go!!! I can’t thank you enough Coach!”
-Jared Leeper, Oregon, USA