The Bledsoe Show

The Big Shifts After Enlifted & The Strong Coach with Grant Thomas

The Big Shifts After Enlifted & The Strong Coach with Grant Thomas

Today we have Grant Thomas. He's been through our Enlifted certification and The Strong Coach 90-Day Program as well. He left a startup to start training clients to find out that he had to work a second job just to cover all his bills each month. He had the personal training clients, didn't make enough, also had to work the weekends. Now, he's got his client training workload down to three days a week and requires no additional work. He's going to share his journey with us today. You're going to get a lot out of it. Enjoy the show.

Table Of Contents

Grant's Experience Getting Enlifted Certification

Mike: Dude, you've done the Enlifted cert and you're on The Strong Coach now. What got you into the Enlifted cert?

Grant: I was going through some stuff and the message around the Enlifted program really resonated with me. You were talking about it on a podcast and you said something … I was thinking about The Strong Coach and it was appealing to me, but you said something like, "This is what I'm most passionate about right now and if you really want to see what I'm working on, this is the program." It was the beta program and it's accessible. I jumped in and it was more than I bargained for and an amazing experience.

Mike: What specifically did you think you were going to get out of it? Then what did you end up getting out of it?

Grant: I really wasn't sure. Your message with your podcast has really resonated with me and your approach to fitness, your story about where you are now, I identified with it. It wasn't the same story, but beating up the body and to see where you are now and to hear how you talk about the relationship with the body and the relationship with yourself, I was intrigued by that. I don't really know. When I hopped in, it was interesting. There was a lot of talk about language and stories and I saw the value right away, but I had no idea where that would go.

In terms of what I got out of it, I found the relationship with the inner voice. Before, I was the inner voice, we were the same thing. What I thought was me and that was incredibly damaging, especially with what I was going through earlier this year.

Mike: Associating yourself with the inner voice was damaging?

Grant: Yeah, big time. I mean, there was no differentiation. I was my thoughts and we all have fucked up thoughts. And so, when certain things come up in your head and you're just like, oh wow, I was like, this is what I think, this is what I think of myself. To share a little tidbit of a certain instance, before I was in the Enlifted program, I was beating myself up for a lot of different things. When I got into something about the bathroom and the shower when you go into the bathroom, taking a shit, whatever, all these thoughts kind of come up. I was sitting in the shower and my inner voice said, "You're a piece of shit." I didn't just take that in as like, oh, whatever. I gave that voice my actual voice. I said, "You're a piece of shit" out loud, that turned into "I'm a piece of shit."

Going through this program and recognizing that I'm not my thoughts, negation and knowledge, but I can choose what thoughts I identify with and which ones I just let go or laugh at. It was super powerful. And so, I began to see myself a lot differently. I had a lot more love for myself and appreciation for my life. Then I began to see how that impacted, how was going about my business, how that impacted all my relationships.

Getting back to myself, getting that self-talk and building that relationship with the inner voice, the ability or the Grant was big. I began to be okay with what was going on in my head rather than thinking that something was wrong with me, thinking that those thoughts were me. It was just a huge mentality shift for me. I'd never thought about it that way. Been going through my life just beating myself up mentally, emotionally and physically.

Mike: There was a moment during the certification because we were all on the call. The way the certification works is … You're smiling so big right now. I love it. I imagine that you're imagining the same instance. The way the certification works is we meet every week for 90 days. There's an hour-long call and we dig in with people. We keep evolving the way we do it. The way you did it … One of the things that we did with you changed how we do things moving forward. That's why I was excited about you coming to town and us getting to sit down and talk is because something we did with you is something we now do with everybody. You specifically had a back injury, right?

Grant: Yeah.

The Shift In Language

Through the reading glasses
Photographer: Dmitry Ratushny | Source: Unsplashl

Mike: There was a story about it. On the other side of the work … This is what I love is you were in a lot of pain and then after the work, you were relieved on a lot of the pain. I remember you coming in with the story and we started shifting it and then over one, two, three-week period, there was a complete shift in your approach.

Grant: Yeah. I saw the … I changed my language and I changed how I see myself that's going to then dictate my actions, but when we actually got into the story work, that's where the biggest shift was. That was a mental and emotional shift, but I also felt that very physically. My injury wasn't something that was … It wasn't an acute injury. It wasn't an instance where it just happened. It was something that built over time.

It was a tension in the thoracic region of my back that I just continued to ignore and just hammer with more weights and more tension. I'm sitting here like 163 pounds. I was 198 pounds at that point. I remember playing like flag football in college and I still had all the speed. I've always been a fast kid. All the speed, but I remember trying to cut and I could not cut. I took out this guy's legs and it could've been really bad just because I was so out of control with my body.

Mike: Were you a beefy 198? Were you a fat 198?

Grant: No. I was not a fat 198. I was pretty … People like, "Dude, that guy is big. That guy is muscular."

Mike: It funny you say 198 because that's the heaviest I ever was. I can never break 200.

Grant: Because that's your build. We're pretty similar height.

Mike: Yeah, so when I like, 198 for guys of our structure, we're built similarly, that's a lot of fucking weight on this frame. This frame is not meant for that much weight.

Grant: No way. And so, I really identified with, it wasn't the injury, there was no injury, it was more I identified with the pain.

Mike: When you say you identified with the pain, what was your language around it then and what shifted?

Grant: It was ownership over it. It was my back pain. It was part of me. It limited me too. I remember one night just having thoughts like, hey, just because your back hurts doesn't mean you can't just go out and enjoy basketball. I made plans in my head. Like, oh I'm going to go play basketball tomorrow. Then the next morning I woke up and I was like, you know what? No. My back is stiff. I'm broken. There's no way I can go out there and do that. And so, it really became a part of my identity.

Then the other aspect of it was, and this is something that with neural patterning and neural grooving, it's a process to come out of, but shifting the language has helped a lot with that, but holding my body differently … I was holding my body in ways I was seeking out pain where I could find it rather than just trying to relax through it. If it was gone, it would be like, I had to get back to it. It was like I was addicted to a certain posture or addicted to a certain sensation.

Mike: Six months ago, if I would've told you, you're addicted to your pain, what would've been your response?

Grant: I don't even know. This has been such a big mentality shift. I mean, I probably would've said, "You're crazy." I think the other thing with it was that I was looking for quick fixes too.

Mike: I remember that you're saying you're using all these methods and then it didn't work and you'd go do something else.

Grant: Yeah. I wasn't trusting the process. One thing I brought up is that when I did go see a specialist, I wanted them to tell me that something was wrong in my back. I wanted that injury. I wanted them to cut me open.

Mike: Because you wanted the quick fix.

Grant: I wanted the quick fix.

Mike: We can identify what's wrong and then we can fix it and it'll be gone forever.

Grant: Yeah. I searched a bunch on like thoracic outlet syndrome. Syndrome is just a word for when they don't really know what's causing it. Like thoracic outlet syndrome could be a lot of different things and that could also be very mental and emotional as well. I identified with the thoracic outlet syndrome and I thought something was wrong with me. Then when they told me that, "Hey, everything looks good in the imaging." I was frustrated. I broke down and cried. At that point, I really wanted to be a trainer. This is when I was like probably 19, 20.

Mike: How old are you now?

Grant: I'm 28. I just turned 28 last week.

Mike: Happy birthday.

Grant: Thanks, man. It's been a crazy year in the best possible way. A lot of challenges thrown my way, but everything I've gone through this year if you talked to me at the beginning of the year and said, "This is what you're going to get this year." I would've been like, "Oh fuck." There's the problems, I don't want that to happen. All the language would've been oriented around that rather than okay-

Mike: What you want to avoid.

Grant: Yeah, what I wanted to avoid rather than like really diving into it and giving those opportunities or if you want to use a word like challenges. That's really how I'm looking at it. I used to freak out about the sensations in my back that I experience occasionally. Now, the approach, okay, I'm figuring it out. Sometimes that figuring out is just sitting with it and appreciating it that it's a signal that something is off and look at everything that's going on in your life and how you're going about things and how can we bring that into more alignment. It's funny you're bringing those other things into alignment, your spines start to … My spine starts to fall into place.

Mike: Whatever's happening psychoemotionally and spiritually will manifest itself physically.

Grant: Absolutely.

Mike: Five, 10 years ago if you would've said that to me, I viewed all these things as separately and I would've looked at you cockeye. Now I can't see it any other way. It's so obvious. What I would've imposed to is now obvious. I like having these types of conversations and being able to record them and for people to hear them because this is how we get to get people to see thing differently.

Grant: Absolutely.

Mike: Yeah.

Grant: Same thing for me five, 10 years ago, I just did the CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach this weekend. The first time I came across Paul Chek was like 10 years ago. I actually came across the video that I saw with him. It was like 10 years ago. I was in college and I was like, "Oh man, this guy is super jacked." Then I started talking about the connection with spirit and whatnot and I was just completely turned off. I didn't revisit Paul's work until about two years ago.

Mike: I have similar experience. I remember reading Paul's stuff way back in the day and just writing him off as he knows what he's doing. He's a smart guy, but not really my flavor. Then reengaging with him the last few years and going, "Holy shit, this guy's got it figured out." Then there's even things he says now where I go, "I don't know about that." Then I watch myself I go, "Yeah, you thought he was crazy 10 years ago." The guy's got 20 years on me. He's got 20 years on me and I go, "He's got 20 years of experience." I used to think he was crazy and now most of what he says makes sense. Maybe I should pay attention to what he's saying about the stuff that I have resistance to.

Grant: Yeah. It's interesting, you have those, oh let me bring it back to what I'm experiencing or have experienced over the years. I have those thoughts of, oh I have those signals from my body, those thoughts, the sensations in my body, organ dysfunction, different things go on. I had that back when I was 19 and I could sit here and say, oh man, I really wish I was at this point back then so I could start this healing journey that much earlier, but I also went through a lot of interesting things in those 10 years to bring me to this point. One of those things was giving up on training and coaching.

Mike: You gave up on training and coaching?

Grant: Yeah. I gave up on it. I still trained personally and I was again more of a quick fix sort of thing, smashing my back with a cross ball and trying to alleviate tension that way and it was just a very temporary effect. Sometimes it would help, but it didn't bring me anywhere. I didn't know any other way. I was just lifting heavy weights. I knew what I knew and that's what I was going to do. I gave up on my dream of being a coach. Now I'm a coach.

That journey, I went through school and school is cool. I went to University of Oregon. I studied business and entrepreneurship there. I made a goal of working for a small startup. I wanted something that was more bootstrap and I got a job with a small startup and eventually became the director of marketing there and was there for four years. Around the three-year mark of working there, I was like, okay, I want to rededicate myself to discovering my body and getting back in shape and seeing what I can do about the dysfunction and the misalignment of my body.

I began to see a physical therapist. I began to see a trainer. Both of them said something with the effect of the way you talk about this stuff, the way how you show up and how dedicated you are, I think you should look into this a little bit more in terms of a career. I had expressed that to them, but over the course of working with me, they really saw that. And so, six months into that year, I signed up for a NASM cert just to get started and I got certified and then left my desk job.

Then joined a team of trainers at a gym as an employee and that was another big wakeup call. It was a big step for me, but I said yes a lot. I was also put in the position where I didn't have to, but my thought process back then was, oh, I had to do this. I had to say yes. There's no other trainers that are going to service this client. I was working at two locations riding my bike back and forth in San Francisco. Some days I would do like six to eight sessions and have to go back and forth a bunch and ride my bike home. I'd have like 20 miles of riding. It was like stressful. San Francisco riding horrible roads, the worst drivers and just high strung.

Mike: It's a crazy city, man.

Grant: Yeah. And so, a year into that … This was actually … I had joined you in Enlifted program. I think it was either March or April, was that at initial month?

Mike: April.

Grant: April.

Mike: May.

From Working Six Days A Week Down To Three

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Photographer: Thought Catalog | Source: Unsplash

Grant: I already decided that I was going to leave. And so, I had started to orchestrate how I was going to go about it. Then I left at the end of April and started at this gym, a small gym that I'm paying rent at. At the time I thought it was way too expensive of rent, but I was like, "You know what? It's a good fit. I really like the vibe here and I want to be here." I started my business and I've been running it for about six months now on my own. It's so much more in alignment. I was running myself into the ground. I wasn't getting paid well. I had to say yes a lot. My schedule was all over the place. I felt that mentally and physically. It impacted everything in my life.

And so, when I did finally jump ship and I told myself … I told Danny on our initial call for The Strong Coach that, "I want one day off during the week." Now, it's two days off. I only work Monday, Wednesday, Friday now.

Mike: You're working three days a week?

Grant: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mike: And paying your bills?

Grant: Yup.

Mike: Nice.

Grant: It's great. I was able to modify my schedule to fit that. Then I just started saying no. When people go, "Can you come in on Tuesday?" I'm like, "No, can't." I have a few clients on Tuesday that I just meet at a park and it's really chill. I guess I have some work on those other days, but it just gives me an opportunity to focus on other things, myself, grow my business, spending time with my friends and my family. Yeah, it's saying no and understanding that in order for me to show up, not just as a coach, but show up for everybody in my life, every relationship as my fullest and best self. I choose to and I get to take that time to take care of myself and rest and come back to me.

Mike: I imagine people hearing this and go, "This guy went from working what, six days a week or five days?"

Grant: I was also working a weekend job slaying some produce at the farmer's market. It was like super laborious work too. It was a lot of lifting. And so, some weeks it would be seven days a week.

Mike: Working seven days a week, how was paying the bills then? Tough or?

Grant: Yeah, it was tough. I mean, I remember looking at my W-2 at the end of the year and just being like, wow, that's how much money I made this year? Also, just seeing my savings account dwindle. I was dipping into all the resources that I saved. I kind of knew making a career change, that'd be the case, but I had no idea it'd be lowering through with that quickly.

For the amount I work out is doing I just … That first month of coaching on my own, I nearly doubled what I was making at the gym. I bought a lot of business on myself. I brought a lot of clients on myself so I acquired a few clients to the gym, but it was a pretty even split so I was like, whoa, I'm bringing these people in on my own. I should be getting more of this money. They were taking probably 70% of the cut and it's just a wakeup call for me.

Mike: Which is normal.

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: I have trainers reach out to me all the time like, "I'm pissed off that gym's taking 70%." I'm like, "Yeah. I mean, that's pretty much what a gym has to take to make money." That what makes sense and there's options. It doesn't mean you have to do that. But it does mean that you have to become more of an entrepreneur yourself. You're going to have to take on some responsibilities that most coaches are avoiding. Most coaches like, "I just want to show up to class and teach class or teach clients. I don't want to have to sell. I don't want to have to do all this shit." I'm like, "Well, get ready to be poor and be mad." You can just be angry at the world because this is how the world works. If you want it to be different, too bad. This is where we're at.

Grant: For sure. I think also it's important, for me I was coming from a completely different career. I had a whole bunch of background in training and I had rebuilt my body up to that point so I had a good understanding of how to help these people with their goals. I also found that the gym I was working for wasn't really in alignment with my messaging. When we did part ways. It wasn't that they wanted me to leave, but I kind of got a vibe of like, "Oh you tried a different way here and it didn't really work." I was just like, "What are you talking about? I'm about to go start my own business and my clients enjoy me and they enjoy my style."

Making sure that your style for whatever coaches listening out there that the style of where you're working fits you. I would be teaching classes and I would try and sprinkle in some of my own philosophy towards fitness and approach. I just felt the inability to fully be myself and really be passionate about what I was coaching people on.

The Big Shifts With The Enlifted Program

Photographer: Anika Huizinga | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah, that resistance is a message. You telling yourself, "Hey, this is out of alignment. There's resistance here. It doesn't have to be this way." You went from working, just busting your balls as a trainer, working weekends to three days a week, life is better, making more money. What was the big shift for you? Was there a moment where … Was there a thing or was there a series or things? What was it that happened for you?

Grant: I think it was more of like a culmination of things that this had been weighing on me for quite some time. One of the big shifts with the Enlifted program that gave me the confidence to really step into that, I had already made the decision, but there was a lot of indecisiveness and doubt and, I would tell myself a story about being a phony. Oh this guy's only coached for two years and he's going off on his own. What are these people going to think? I was telling myself all these stories, but the Enlifted program gave me a ton of confidence in my dream and my ability to shape my own reality and getting back to the sensations in my back and whatnot.

We got super sidetracked, but going back to that call where I was sitting in this little closet that's at the gym I work at now and you guys asked me the, OMG, the story and get really animated about the story that I told myself about my back. It was this-

Mike: The story you were so committed to that it became reality.

Grant: Yeah. I latched on to that for nine years. It became more of a physical story too where I didn't even have to say anything about it. It was like, like I said I would try and seek that pain or that sensation out in my body. It was how I felt that area of my body. And so, to go through some language work where I was attaching a lot of emotion to it. I think the important part about the OMG exercise are getting really animated about that story is it clears up the blockages in your breathing pattern. It clears up the blockages in your posture and allows you to … It almost forces you even though I would say allow is a better word, but you have to breathe. I had to breathe to of that exercise. It was really powerful once I started to get flowing on it and that took a while. That first time we did it, it was weird, man.

Mike: Everybody's first time with that exercise, is choppy. Everyone is … You can look at someone's face, you can see their eyes where they're questioning things and their identity. Some people might call it ego. The identity is really attached to the story so the story and the identity are married together. When we start asking you to put a different filter on that story, what it does is it causes a different emotional response and the identity doesn't like that. The identity wants to hang on to that story because the identity knows that if that story goes, it goes too. I'll make a note about this is all the stories that people have running. The stories are shaping your life.

Think about your life as a movie and you're a character in it. You're also the writer and the director. Most people have no idea that they can write and direct their own movie, they just think they're a character in it. Then what we do is we help you zoom out where we go, "By the way, you're the editor, director and then you're also placing other characters in your movie too. You actually have control over the other characters and how they show up in your life." I imagine a lot of people hear that and go, "What the fuck is he talking about?" If you do the work … You get it right?

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: Sometimes you're going, "Yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about now." It takes time to fully grasp this. Now, those stories are tied to emotions in the body. The story is something that lives in the conscious or the subconscious. There's a lot of stories that I'm operating off of. You're operating of we don't even know about them. They're nowhere near our awareness, but we get to expand our awareness and see them clearly at some point in the future and work through them.

Those stories are attached to emotions in our body. If we hold on to the story, we hold on to the emotion, which means we don't really get to experience the emotion fully. Some people might refer to emotions as energy. And so, energy gets trapped so that muscle that gets really tight, that tension in your back, that's trapped energy or trapped emotion.

And so, 10 years ago, if you would talk about this people go, "Oh, that's woo." Now, there are science coming on like, "Oh, this is really accurate." The emotional energy is getting trapped in the body. If you let it go, all of a sudden, your posture changes, right?

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: Oh, that tension went away. I talk about this a lot of times where I see somebody have to wrap bands around their hips or their back every time before they squat or else they're fucked. I get a little chuckle. I'm not laughing at them. I'm chuckling at me because that's what I used to do and I go, "Oh wow, if I had only known what I know now, it goes completely unnecessary." The solution to your problem has nothing to do with some … It has to do with your story and the emotions tied to it. You let that go and the whole thing unwinds.

Then now your identity shifts and that story is actually attached to a hundred other stories. You want to wind that one, you pull that string. Then what was cool for you is like, oh my back feels better and my relationship and my body has improved, but I imagine that there were many other aspects of your life that shifted too.

Grant: Yeah. I mean, I know this just the relationships in my life changed a lot. I had much more appreciation for them. There was a period where I began to take a lot of responsibility for my behavior in relationships. This was before the Enlifted program as well. I started to see the responsibility, but then the story became, oh you're responsible for this. Then it was like, let me just cling on to this. I'm shitty.

Mike: You made it your fault.

Grant: Yeah, I made it my fault.

Mike: Which is different than responsibility.

Grant: Sure.

Mike: I want to point that out because people normally associate responsibility with burden and fault because if someone does something fucked up in the government or in a company, who's responsible? They're not actually looking for responsibility, they're looking for a fault and blame. And so, I like to create distinctions in these words because responsibility creates freedom, whereas fault and blame creates limitation.

Grant: I responded to the best of my ability in that moment, but because I had progressed to a certain point where I thought I should've been better in that situation, I kept going back to it. I kept reliving those moments rather than taking those as lessons and opportunities for growth.

Mike: Yeah. You're making yourself wrong. As long as you make yourself wrong for it, you can't progress.

Grant: Yeah. Then you end up in the shower calling yourself a piece of shit.

Mike: We've all been there, man. I've definitely called myself a piece of shit in the shower before.

Grant: Yeah. It was super fascinating.

Mike: I was asking you about the shift that happened and allowed you to do that. It allowed you to go get to a place where you're working three days a week and making more money. Inside the business, I think a lot of times people … I get responses from people a lot of times that go, "Oh yeah. You want to double, triple, 10x your income as a coach," and I've gotten responses back, people saying, "Yeah, but I'm already working full time. It doesn't make any sense. I can't work any more hours." That tells me, oh wow. This person things that they're worth a dollar and not per hour versus being able to restructure how business works in a way that is going to work for them and then also be able to that time you're getting to yourself and you're taking care of yourself, I mean how much better of a coach are you able to be now.

Grant: Well, just to the first question, what brought me to that point. Like I said, it was a culmination of things. I think the biggest shift was that I was valuable. I am valuable. It took me about 10 years to get that back, to feeling that way about myself. And so, that could have been something latched in with the tension I was experiencing in my back or it's a few different things. So that. And then …

Mike: Wait. We want to go super woo, that place in your back you're describing is right behind your solar plexus.

Grant: Exactly.

Mike: Which is your power center. If you feel powerless, you can look at someone's posture and go, "They lack a sense of power over their life and they tend to say yes to everything and have a hard time saying no." If you break free of that, you're going to notice, oh you can breathe more deeply there. So the fact that you have tension there wouldn't surprise me.

Grant: Yeah. I mean it correlates perfectly with what I was going through. I did feel helpless. So yeah, I mean, the decisions that I had made up to that point were influenced by others, not just influenced, they were dictated by others. One of those people was the inner voice as well. Going back to what I want and what I need in that moment as well was super big for me. To take a step back and look at that, that was going through the Enlifted the program, having the conversations, the initial conversations with Danny about work and setting up a framework that worked for me it. It was a game that, I said this in one of the Enlifted masters call, you're talking about sitting in the stands and using one of the modules, either Enlifted or in The Strong Coach, but sitting in the stands versus like you know the feeling, the feel.

I imagine that I am creating a field. I'm creating that game and how do I want to operate it. And so, I'm wearing this baseball shirt here. I like to think of the baseball field. I'm still working on this analogy, but the foul poles and the foul lines are those boundaries you set for yourself. There is a limitation right there as well. I just like to pull those, that fence. That is my possibility right there for growth.

Thinking about it that way allowed me to create the business I wanted, which attracted the clients that I want to work with. And then ultimately had a few things fall into place, I lost a couple of clients that weren't very dedicated. They didn't even make it through the initial month with me. They said they got a lot of value out of it, but I could tell that it wasn't a good fit. Once that happened, I was really frustrated. I was like, okay. This is what I was working four days a week. I was like, all right, let me see-

Mike: The hard times of four days a week.

Grant: Yeah, exactly. This was me after I had already started my business. I got that one day off during the week, but I said, okay, I'm going to fill up this for days during the week. Then I lost a couple clients. I was like, well, Thursday is just going to be super barren. Let me see if I can move a couple of those clients to Wednesday or one of them to Friday. I just texted all my clients and moved things around and things just fell into place.

It goes back to, oh shit, I got this problem, change that language to, oh, this is an opportunity for me to see if I can modify my schedule and make it work for me even better. Now I have two days which we talk about creation mode, I get to be in creation mode. I get to be in creation mode with my movement, with my food, with my business. It's just awesome.

Grant's Current Focus Working On The Business

Photographer: Devin Avery | Source: Unsplash

Mike: What are you creating in your business right now on those days where you're in creation mode and you're choosing to work on your business? What does that look like? Because we talked about looking in your business versus on your business. In your business as a coach is coaching clients. Most coaches, that's the only thing they see as work. What are you doing in creation when you're working on the business?

Grant: Right now, I'm working on different ways that I can better support my clients. I saw that where I was out of integrity with my business was supporting my clients outside of the gym. They show up. We warm up. They get in the right mindset and then we jump into some awesome movement, have a bunch of fun, maybe do some mentality stuff as well. But then they're gone, until I see them next time. That's more of that trainer approach right there, where I see them one hour a week, two hours a week, three hours a week and I noticed that I could be a lot more valuable to them and therefore potentially harness more value for that as well if I could support them more effectively outside of the gym.

Right now, I'm working on developing a lot more online resources specifically for movements that actively destress the body because I live in one of the most stressful cities in the world. The people are so high strung. Everything is on demand. They want a quick fix. Who does this sound like? It sounds like me, a few years ago.

Mike: Coaches, you're wondering who you're going to coach.

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: Assume you used to be.

Grant: I'm looking at better ways that I can support people outside of the gym. One of those is providing them with movement resources that are going to help them recover on those days off and then building a more programmatic approach to implement some of the Enlifted approach to language, mentality, and goal setting as well, which has just been super big.

Just in those moments of with coaching, I had a client the other day and a pretty small dude, but we've been packing on some muscle for him. He did like six awesome pull-ups. One of the things I said in that OMG exercise was like, I could give you 20 of the worst looking pull-ups with like a 45-pound weight hanging from me. I remember the feeling of being so in balanced in that. I could see myself in the mirror and see how imbalanced I was. It was just so much ego there. The form was so bad.

Now when I see somebody I coached and they knocked out six perfect pull-ups, I just get so pumped. I was ecstatic for him. He's like, "It was only six." I was like, "I want you to say this back to me. I did six perfect pull-ups." To see how that changed his posture and how that changed his outlook on it was big.

Just those little things in the moment, how can I implement that on a grander scale so we can apply these to all the lifestyle things that I know what it's like when you're super stressed out and you're just looking for convenience and you're looking for, oh, I can just check this off my list or let me order this food, even though I know it's not great for me. I can just get some food in me. I don't have to worry about that anymore. Rather than, okay, I got to nourish my body. I choose to cook my own food because it's fun. I can go put on my favorite record and enjoy that.

Those are the things that I'm working on outside or the things I'm working on my business on those days off. Then like I said, part of my perfect day was to just be doing some movement in a park and have my schedule lined up where I don't even know what time it is. My phone is not on me. I know that I have clients coming to me. I was like just doing some ground base movement, stretching on the ground, whatever, and out of nowhere just like, my client just walks up this hill. I see him up here. I'm just like, oh shit, dude. That's part of my perfect day. Now, it's not three, four, clients in a row but just the imagery of that where I put myself in a situation where I experience those little wins.

Mike: You're still new, man. You're still new. It's great three years. A perfect day will just be unfolding constantly.

Grant: Yeah. You know, it's encouraging and to see that come through. Also, one thing I continuously remind myself of and it helps to have some coaches as well to remind me of it is to see that progress and just let's say eight months of time where I'm seeing these things come to fruition. Then also, it comes with repetition. It's not that I'm going to experience these things the first time around. That's been a big thing. Some of the strong coaches have been talking to me. I love the way you're talking about this stuff. You just need reps, man. Give yourself more credit. It's going to come with reps.

Another thing I've noticed is shaping my business and how I want to support my clients with their goals. I'm so much more confident selling that. I don't even really think of price as an obstacle when it comes up. This is what I'm selling because I feel really good about it. I feel it is genuinely me and my coaching business. Having trouble with sales, chances are what you're selling is out of integrity with what you truly believe. That's what I've experienced recently is, okay, I'm confident in that. The last aspect is-

Mike: Or you're out of integrity about what you really believe. I know a lot of coaches are selling … They're selling health and fitness, but they are not living a healthy lifestyle themselves.

Grant: Sure.

Mike: Even if their protocols or methods or whatever are good for their clients, the fact that if you're not eating well and sleeping well and taking care of yourself, if you feel like if your life is out of balance, of course it's going to be hard to sell health to someone else if you're not healthy.

Grant: Absolutely.

Mike: Get your shit together. You got to … Always start off with get your house in order. Sometimes people have seen that module and they literally go clean their house. That's exactly what you need. What's happening in your environment is a reflection of what's happening internally. We got to get our own house in order internally. Get our physical location dialed in. You take care of that things or seeing like they magically fall in line.

Grant: Absolutely.

Mike: That's alignment. That's integrity.

Grant: Yeah. I completely agree. There's always things to be working on in that regard as well. I noticed a lack of integrity with the lack of responsibility with not so much the I was valuing certain things or valuing money, but the organization of it and how that provided a lot of anxiety and stress for me because I'd be like, okay, I'm spending money on good food. I'm spending money on these certs that align with where I'm going. I'm not just throwing money anywhere. How is that organization of that money? Do I really have a pulse on where I'm at? And so, that's the next big project for me that I'm currently working through.

Mike: What week are you on?

Grant: Going into this week, it's 11.

Mike: Your week 11? So you're almost finished?

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: With Strong Coach. You're getting into the money part anyway.

Grant: Yeah. We've already passed. It's passed through the module, but it's-

Mike: The modules are built in a very specific order for a reason. That's cool. That's where you're at right now.

Grant: Again, I got to take a look at the progress over running my business for six months and I could have been better about organization from the get-go, but I'm here now. What can I do to build more confidence in that area? The other thing about coaching that's been really interesting and it relates to life a bunch too is as I've started to focus on these different areas in my life and then implement those into my coaching as well.

Mike: You said something interesting, getting more organized and you mentioned certifications. You just did one of Chek. What did you do this weekend?

Grant: It was a holistic lifestyle coach.

Mike: It was a level one?

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: I have some people reach out. I had people reach out. They have five suns certifications. I need to get another certification before I do this program, before I do the Strong Coach or I need to get certified in something first. It's so obvious to me. I imagine that maybe obvious to you is like do this first. I tell people, "Do this first because then you'll know which certification to get." Because most coaches and trainers are just getting whatever fucking certification seems interesting to them in the moment. It may not be in alignment with where they're taking their coaching business.

The CHEK Certification

Grant: Absolutely. That was something that I really noticed. I mean, some people at the cert were talking about this big sale that they had back in March. That's when they purchased this package. They got a great discount on it.

Mike: It's the Chek course?

Grant: Yeah, the Chek course. I just registered about a month ago. It was something where I'm like, okay, I see where my coaching gets going. I am currently going through the certification process for the Enlifted masters program. I see those two things as-

Mike: You're getting the best certification on the planet, Enlifted, Chek. We're going to make Strong Coach a certification. There's some things we need to shift in it before we can start certifying, but yeah.

Grant: That would be great. But yeah, I look at those two things and I'm like, okay, yeah. Those are really in alignment with my approach. That approach is holistic and doing a lot with a little. I love to do ground base movement, bodyweight movement, kettlebell stuff, mace stuff. Getting creative, getting back to the feeling in your body and helping people build that relationship with their bodies and themselves in a way that is becoming less and less unorthodox or as I like to call it, oddball.

Mike: Yeah. That's your Instagram.

Grant: Yeah. That is my business name, Oddball Fitness. It keeps getting more and more weird every day.

Mike: I mean, you're running the gamut. You're doing Enlifted, Strong Coach. The only thing you got left is Training Camp for the Soul. When are you coming in for that? When are you coming in, man?

Grant: Oh yeah, on the air. We'll have to talk about that.

Mike: You're moving like … Well, the thing is, when I see people, if they've done Enlifted and if they've done the Strong Coach and that they come in the Training Come for the Soul, they crush it. It's a lot easier for them. The people that come in that have done none of the stuff that we put together first, it's hard to break through that resistance. But you got the language down. You got the story down. You understand the identity peace and you've actively made changes in business and stuff, those people, they get the best results out of it.

Grant: Well, then I'm looking forward to it. Yeah. I mean one of the big things for me with the Enlifted program is getting on a call with people that I really look up to and then 20 other strangers and just spilling my guts out. That felt so uncomfortable. I had difficulty doing that with romantic relationships, friendships, family relationships. I had a ton of difficulty expressing myself.

And so, being able to open up and then also going through those stories in my head about, man, this people are like … What if I cry? What if somebody makes fun of me, whatever. People just supported me. They reached out to me. They said things like, "I really appreciate you bringing up that point. I didn't think of it that way." Or that I've been having that same thought and so I found the same thing watching other people. It was incredible.

As a man and somebody … It's funny, going back to my childhood, I think about it, physical pain was never an issue for me. I would experience it, but it didn't really impact me. I would tear up at everything that made me uncomfortable. At a certain point, I just started to shove it down. I had a difficult time expressing that, expressing my emotions even though it was super evident from a young age that I was an emotional kid. Rediscovering that aspect of myself and opening up and I've continued that with the little weekly segment I do on my Instagram called Grant's Rants.

Mike: I've seen them.

Grant: Yeah. A lot of the stuff is right in line with what I've learned in the Enlifted curriculum and going through The Strong Coach as well is just being open, and sharing those experiences and meeting people with where they're at. You never know what is going to resonate with somebody.

I was talking about this with Sean on the Strong Coach call the other day. It's like, my likes are super down, but the interaction that I'm receiving, the meaningful interaction that I'm receiving in people reaching out to me in the DMs, in the comments, like people are writing paragraphs.

Mike: Yeah. We had an Instagram expert at the Strong Coach Summit a couple months ago. He was talking about how likes don't mean shit. Likes don't mean shit.

Grant: They feed the ego.

Mike: I've had less likes the last year. I've lost followers. It's a good thing. It means your message is more focused and the people you are reaching is you're having a much better conversation.

Grant: Yeah. It's been super enlightening to see that as how to connect with people. I do love the language of movement as a great way to connect with people and get people to start there, to take it a step further. It's a great initial thing to start with, but then to take it a step further and talk about the mentality, how they see themselves, that's a game changer, a straight up game changer.

I have some leads now, just because some online client leads. I've been building out these online resources where I can easily dovetail that into online coaching and online programming, which is another thing that I see that avenue developing.

Mike: Oh yeah, doing the online thing. That's scale.

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: That gets fun. It gets really, really fun.

Grant: Yeah.

Being an Emotional Kid

Photographer: Tom Pumford | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah. You mentioned something about you're an emotional kid. I imagined there was a point where you stop expressing your emotions and it's coming back online now. One thing that is missing from our culture and I definitely have this experience is, okay, it's okay to express your emotions as a child to a degree. But then when you get older, it's no longer okay to express yourself that way. But no one ever teaches us how to express ourselves, our emotions appropriately as adults so we just don't express at all. One of the things we get to do is learn how to express appropriately. I'm very emotional. I express myself emotionally, but I don't express myself emotionally as a four-year-old would. I don't throw tantrums and break shit.

Grant: The laugh kind of sounds like a four-year-old. There it is. There it is.

Mike: There you go. Yeah, sometimes you just got to let go.

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: That's one of the big things I've learned over the last few years is how to really express appropriately in a way that energy gets to move and I get to have that experience and really just have it, and be a healthy thing and that doesn't get trapped in the body and it can flow. When expressed well, everybody is in appreciation for it. When expressed poorly, if you're 28 and expressing like a four-year-old, everyone thinks you're an asshole. Any asshole walking around and if anyone thinks someone's an asshole, it's probably because that person is expressing themselves as a four-year-old, not as an adult.

Grant: It is funny you say that because this is my personal experience, but when I let those emotions build up within me, how I did express them was as a four-year-old.

Mike: Yeah. Shove them down. Shove them down. Shove them down and now they're going to take over, fuck everybody.

Grant: Fuck everybody. Fuck this bicycle helmet, I'm just going to obliterate it real quick. There's a lot of stories where I destroyed things or I personally harmed myself. That's a scary thing when you're going through it. You know what's going on, but you kind of black out. That's how a four-year-old would express that but with the capabilities of somebody who's 28 years old. It was super scary. I was like, what's happening to me? Well, I wasn't expressing myself. I wasn't communicating well.

A lot of that comes back to the communication with the self. If I don't have a good relationship with that inner voice, then there's going to be havoc there. If in the gym I'm not communicating with my body well, then I'm probably going to hurt myself to some degree or I'm going to be building some compensatory patterns that are difficult to rewire. It bleeds into everything else.

One last thing I'd like to say, unless something else comes up, but just about the inner voice, when I started to change my language, that voice rather than being that asshole and sometimes he's still an asshole, but it was like my biggest fan. It was like my hype man. I have a friend who is currently in between jobs and he is helping me with some of the video stuff. He's been fantastic. I call him my hype man. I'm also coaching him with movements and also some of this mentality stuff, especially as he's going through this transition. And so, I'm the hype man type man as well.

Mike: Nice.

Grant: And so, it's nice to have that your own self, your own inner voice being that encouragement for you rather than that word of doubt in your head at something like, hey, you got this. Sometimes it calls you out. Sometimes it calls me out but the approach is not, "Hey, you're a piece of shit. This is all your fault." It's, "Hey, what can we learn from this?" That's encouraging. To normalize that discussion that goes on in the head is a big aspect of Enlifted because we all have it going on, but to think about talking to yourself, a lot of people have a difficult time with that. They associate that with being mentally unhealthy.

Mike: Shit. Dude. I have so many conversations with myself. That's my journal, man, my journal. There's a lot of different colors in that journal. There's different voices. This is one of the things we do with the training camp is we dissect that voice. They have different names.

In Enlifted, we start having a conversation with that inner voice. In training camp, one of the aspects of, there's many aspects, is we dissect that voice into different personalities and then we're able to have … We sit down and we have dinner. Anytime something is going on in our life, we sit down and we have dinner with all those voices. Then we get the feedback from each one of them and thank them and then we name them. We know when the ego is talking. We know when the inner critic is talking. We know when the shadow is talking. We know when the heart stalking.

It's like, okay, we're all going to get feedback from all these. Now, which voice are we going to choose? Which voice are we going to choose when we take action? It's like, okay, if you want to choose your inner critic, fucking go for it. Life is going to suck. You want to live a fulfilled satisfied life? Listen to your heart. Follow that. It takes courage. Everything we're talking about takes courage because when you listen to your heart, the reason people … They're living their lives and I used to live my life, take it back to me, right, I used to live my life listening to ego, inner critic, my shadow, all these aspects of me that I associated my identity with and this is who I am.

Then when I finally got to hear my heart speak, I go, oh fuck. Doing what my heart is saying, that is scary as fuck. That's when heart takes courage. That's why when you see somebody who's leading with their heart, people look at that person and go, "That takes courage," because they're not doing what everyone else is doing.

Most people, 99% of the population are running around with some of their ego, inner critic, shadow, which is all just driven by fear. Then your heart speaking from love is like, oh, it's so rare running to some of the courage that they stand out. You want to stand out as a coach, you want to be successful, lead with your heart. I don't care what you know about or if you're a running coach or a weightlifting coach or an animal flow coach or whatever the fuck it is, that's not what's going to make you different. What's going to make you different is if you're leading with your heart or not. Way to be courageous, Grant and stepping up to the plate and I watched you in Enlifted during that certification and you're 100% courageous, love it.

Grant: Thanks Mike. I just like to say same to you. You led with your heart. You lead with your heart. That's what attracted me. Going back to the very first question you asked me when I got here and I think on the podcast, what attracted you to join the Enlifted program? It was that. I could sense the passion. I could sense the heart speaking that this is what you've built with that in mind. It resonated with me. I was like, okay, this is what he's working on right now and I can sense that. It's what he's most passionate about,. I'm going to hop into this and see how it goes. Like I said, it rocked by shit. It was work and it's continuous work by the way.

Closing Thoughts

Mike: Yeah. Okay, let's wrap this up. You got to go. You got to fly. You got to get out of here. Really appreciate you stopping by the house and hanging out and giving people the good message.

Grant: Yeah well, thanks for having me, Mike. Yeah. If anybody wants to follow my own journey I do a weekly, it's about anywhere between like six and eight minutes on Instagram. I'm going to throw those up on YouTube as well, but the Grant's Rants. I just cover a topic around something I'm going through currently or have in the past that I can share that experience with others and hopefully resonates with you. A lot of what I'm doing in that is applying the language and the story work that I learned in Enlifted and The Strong Coach. I would keep an eye out for how I'm talking. And yeah, hopefully I did all right on this call.

Mike: You did great. We got Oddball Fitness.

Grant: Oddball Fitness.

Mike: On Instagram.

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: What's the website? YouTube? Where do we find you?

Grant: Oddball Fitness, my Instagram is probably the best place right now. I do have a website but going through The Strong Coach, a lot of stuff is going to be changing on that. I do have some content coming via a blog there. If you want to check out the gym that I work out off in San Francisco, it's called Kinetic Playground.

Mike: That's cool.

Grant: Perfect name for myself and the other trainers that work there. It's just a funky little place in Downtown San Francisco. Good tunes. Some fun artwork in there. Yeah, stop on by if you're in town.

Mike: I have to come up there now.

Grant: Yeah.

Mike: Yeah, man. Thank you.

Grant: Sweet.

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