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Finding Strength in Partnership

With Brian McKinney, CPT, and Roshini Rajkumar

Season 6, Episode 17 | March 28, 2023

Working with a coach or personal trainer can boost your fitness efforts and help you make meaningful progress toward your goals. Sometimes, however, we overlook how powerful the partnership can be, including the gains that go beyond physical fitness. In this episode, we hear the firsthand experience of Life Time member Roshini Rajkumar and her coach Brian McKinney, CPT, how they get the most out of their experience working together, and what to look for in your own trainer-client relationship.

Brian McKinney, CPT, is a strength and conditioning coach, Dynamic Personal Trainer, and Alpha Conditioning coach at Life Time. He’s also a top 60day Trainer.

Roshini Rajkumar is a crisis strategist, C-suite advisor, and the host of The Crisis Files podcast. She’s a long-time Life Time member and a distance runner who’s completed five marathons and numerous half marathons and 5Ks.

From their unique perspectives, McKinney and Rajkumar share the important factors that go into getting the most out of a coach-client partnership. In particular, McKinney calls out two things he’s seen over the course of his career that make the biggest difference:

1. The trainer keeps the goal the goal. While a trainer/coach applies their expertise to clients’ fitness plans, those plan should be customized to what they hear from each client — their aspirations, likes and dislikes, and lifestyle.

For example, even though strength training needs to be a part of Rajkumar’s routine, she came to McKinney with the goal of improving her running skills. “If my approach as a coach was, ‘strength training is king’ and it trumps everything, then I wouldn’t be listening and would be missing the point,” says McKinney.

Instead, he asks Rajkumar what her running routine looks like — her mileage, the days she runs, etc. — and uses that to inform their sessions. Her regimen includes strength training that supplements her running efforts; the exertion levels fluctuate based on days when she can push more or needs to pull back.

2. The client wants the goal more than the trainer does. McKinney says people commonly think training is some type of magic formula and that if a trainer gets a specific result with one client, then you can follow that same plan and get that same result. But everyone is different — and that’s why plans need to be, too.

Your trainer will be with you during your sessions — which is typically one to three hours a week — with perhaps a few touchpoints outside of them. That means there are about 165 to 167 other hours of the week where you’re responsible for your progress toward your goals.

“You need to be at least 51 percent or more bought in,” says McKinney. “I’m going to come alongside and push when I feel like you need to be pushed, comfort when I think you need to be comforted, but the individual needs to have a burning desire in their heart to accomplish their goal.”

He also emphasizes the importance of having other people in your circle to support you during the times you’re not with your trainer as well.

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Transcript: Finding Strength in Partnership

Season 6, Episode 17  | March 28, 2023


Welcome back to another episode of Life Time Talks. I’m David Freeman.

And I’m Jamie Martin.

And today’s episode is all about strength and partnership. Working with a personal trainer can boost your fitness efforts, help in making a meaningful progress towards your goals. And another bonus, helps to elevate that mindset. So today’s guest, Brian McKinney and Roshini Rajkumar. Brian McKinney, I’m going to start with you in your bio and then I’m going to pass it on over to Jamie to go over Roshini’s bio.

Brian McKinney, strength and conditioning coach at Lifetime in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Dynamic personal trainer, one of my favorite alpha conditioning coaches as well. And in this time within Lifetime, he’s supported three members winning the National 60-day challenge and has had five clients finish in the top five nationally for this program.

Roshini is a crisis strategist C-suite advisor and the host of The Crisis Files based here in the Twin Cities. She is a longtime lifetime member who has been a distance runner since 2005. Roshini has completed five marathons and numerous half marathons and 5Ks. And her long term goal is to qualify for Boston, and she says even if it doesn’t happen until she’s in her 60s. So Roshini, you know I love that. I love the goal setting out there.

Roshini sought out Brian’s expertise as a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer back in June of 2021, with the goal of improving her running performance. She’s done that and so much more. And we’re here today to really talk about the relationship that they’ve built and what other people can learn about what it takes to find, to build a partnership like this, what to look for in a partnership like this. So thanks to both of you for being here today. We’re excited to have you.

It’s great to be with you Jamie and David.

Thank you.

Alright. So we’re going to jump right in today. And we’re going to start with you, Roshini. I want to hear a little bit about your health and fitness background and what led you to seek out Brian’s support. And ultimately, how you ended up choosing him as your personal trainer.

So I’m probably a lifetime exerciser. I started lifting weights back when I was 13. And I can’t say that I’ve lifted every year since then. But for the most part, I would say weightlifting is one of my very favorite things to do. And I was never anyone who really worried about my weight. I mean, you go up and down. But the weight training from an early age, not necessarily with the trainer but just doing things on your own and then eventually working with a trainer.

I’ve really always had a respect for what muscle conditioning can do for everything else. So that was always a baseline for me. And I was a short distance runner. And by short, I mean 3 miles or less for a good part of my I’d say late teens and early 20s. A friend in college got me into running. I really hadn’t run before. I was more of a Stair Master type person.

I’d read my law school textbooks on the Stair Master which no one could really understand with my highlighter. But the distance running then started after I was into my TV broadcast career. And had this goal, I don’t know why, that by the time I got to a certain age I wanted to run a marathon. So that ended up being in the year 2005.

I was in Detroit television. I joined team in training because I knew I needed a group. And let me tell you, when you’re just doing three miles even if it’s every day or almost every day, doing 4 to 6 miles was a stretch for me, and let alone 8 or 10 or more in preparation for a marathon. So I did a little bit of strength training with that first marathon but mostly it was just trying to fit in the running in between. So that’s kind of a little background.

And then it wasn’t until I wound down my TV career, moved back to Minneapolis to start my business in early ’06. And even, still kept kind of doing shorter. I would do some distances longer because by then, I had run one marathon. But I finally joined a running team in 2010 and that helped me get into actual really training for the distances.

And how did you end up seeking out Brian’s support as a trainer? What led you to him?

So I really believe in personal training. I know how to lift weights and I’ve done it well over time on my own. But from the first time I had a personal trainer, I can’t remember how old I was, I always was like, “This actually really is better. This works.” And then as I eventually became an executive coach after my TV career, I’m a big believer in coaching.

So whatever that is, and in the case of Brian, he is my fitness coach really, overall. Even though he’s not one of my running coaches but he really incorporates and he listens to me. That’s important. And really tries to figure out and personalize what I need with what we do together so that it fits into my overall thing.

And the funny thing is, over the years, I would get different messages from different trainers the times I was back and forth in Minneapolis. And then even consistently, I’ve been living here since ’06. And I did work out with some of your other trainers and sometimes it was for a certain durations. And then there will be times you just stop. And it’s funny because I would see Brian and I would see him having fun with other people. And he would sometimes be the one that would send those emails. Oh, you get a free tryout. We haven’t seen you in a while, personal training.

I don’t know that he ever put me with him. But I then watched him and I thought, “I think when I’m going to do this again, I’m going to ask him. I’m going to seek him out.” So I wasn’t stalking him or anything, I just happened to see him working out with other people and I liked the vibe. And I need someone who’s not a meat head, no offense to meat heads. But I also need someone who is not– who themselves looks like their brand. And Brian is very fit and so that spoke to me also.

I love that. And one thing that stood out as far as the words that you said was preparation. Huge. I’m a huge on purpose, understanding what speaks to your passion and your why. So I want to go into Brian now. When connecting with Roshini and you all first met, what was it about her why that influenced you on how to go about her programming. Granted, she was stalking you. She just said she didn’t but I feel like she was. What was it about the why she spoke that allowed you to arrive at the program that you created for her?

I remember her walking up to me on the fitness floor and kind of introducing herself. And for anyone that’s been a trainer for a while or in training, typically, you’re the one that’s doing most of the seeking out of clients and stuff like that. So for someone to approach you, I knew right off the bat that this is probably a driven person. This is probably a confident person. This is probably somebody that had a distinct goal in mind because they were the ones being the initiator in it.

So we talked for a few minutes on the fitness floor. I’m also big as far as hearing like immediately what your goal is. The thing I’m thankful about being on a personal training team like ours here at St. Louis Park is that we have a lot of people that specialize in certain things. And so I’m also one that’s not prideful in the fact that if I think somebody else might be a better fit, that I would encourage that type of connection.

If they were like, “Hey, I want to specialize in Olympic lifting,” that wouldn’t necessarily be me. That would be connecting them to another coach. And so listening to Roshini talking about she wanted some general conditioning that would focus on to help her in her running.

I was like, alright. So there’s very clear goal. And we can’t talk about keeping the goal of the goal. I think what sometimes trainers will do is they’ll start training somebody how they train themselves. Or they default into a cookie cutter type workout and stuff like that as well.

So what I did after meeting Roshini is I kind of researched a couple of the trainers that she was with. And went in and found that she was with a couple of trainers and one that I really respected a lot and his style of training and stuff. And so I was like, “I’ve got to bring it here because she’s used to X, Y, and Z.

And so I just started asking questions as far as when her races are coming up, what speed she’s wanting to do, stuff like that. Asked her if she was doing any type of single leg training. I asked her about her background and stuff. And so we started with the basic movements, your push pull, hinge squat, see how she moved. And then from there, started progressing into more specific type training.

And her leg strength has increased tremendously. And tremendously, I mean like we’re going to weight and stuff of Goblet Squats and stuff like that where I’m like, alright. Roshini, what your legs can handle now we need to put on your back here because it’s getting to the point where it’s going to be too heavy holding out in front.

And then as you start to coming back and tell me some of her times and stuff, it has been so encouraging to see this person just blossom when it comes to maybe realizing some of their goals are very attainable, and she sets them wisely too. So she was very direct in a nutshell, which was clear as kind, and I appreciated that.

And one last thing before I hand it back to you. I’m always big about saying like, “Hey, we’re going to try this out. And there’s no hard feelings, hopefully on your side or my side that if it’s not a good fit up front. So if there’s anything that you see that’s not gelling with you, please tell me if this isn’t a good fit and I can find you somebody that is a good fit.” So just kind of having that upfront of realizing like, “Hey, we’re going into this hoping for the best but realizing maybe it won’t work out.”

I love that. I mean, I think the key word that you said there was listening. And I think that was a quality that Roshini actually said that you had. You actually was listening to where the areas of opportunity may be. And the thing that you did, you did your homework as well. So now I’m curious as far as what did you probably discover, if you will, that needed to be added to the regiment?

And I know an individual continue to evolve but we look at, let’s say five pillars, nutrition, sleep, recovery, management of stress, and intentional movement. Obviously, she had the movement down. She’s been doing this for a while. When you look at all the other things and when you start to put together a program, an overall regiment, what did you end up discovering was an area of opportunity if any?

I think that these areas were at some point, at least subconsciously or self aware of them. But sometimes bringing it to light and putting it on the table. Roshini, stop me if I’m incorrect on any of this type of stuff here. But we all enjoy having a cocktail or two or a happy hour here or two. And it’s hard for those that entertain and take guests out and clients out like Roshini does.

It’s hard to go to a happy hour or maybe not have a drink or two or hard not to have a typical bar food or something like that as well. So those type of things were there that were clear of. And I also would tell Roshini that I’ve told her before. I’m like 95%, 98% of the people walking around here would die to have your physique as it is but I know we’re always hard on ourselves.

So that extra 5% to 3% the Roshini is looking for, she’s a perfectionist and wants to do her best. So she knows as far as like, but it was just bringing that to the table. Like alright, we’ve made it this far. We might have to do a small few little tweaks here that could increase big dividends if we do so.

Roshini, what changes did you make as a result of some of these conversations, just tag teaming off that.

So well, first, I want to say Brian is very kind. What he didn’t tell you is I said, “Look Brian, I realize I’m older now compared with when I had my little four pack but I want you to help me get my four pack back.” It’s harder every year that we go, especially too as Brian pointed out, when I do entertain clients over sometimes a Martini lunch. That’s usually on a Friday and happy hours, right?

But the reality check that Brian does give to me is he’s never critical. He is accountable, right? He holds me accountable. And that’s really the piece. And it helps that I, yes, have a history of some decent habits when it comes to health. But every decade that goes by, you go up and down. You have your good years and your bad years. And I may never have that.

But I mean, when I was 40, I actually will say I had a four pack. Don’t have that right now. And I realize not every 40-year-old has a four pack and that’s not a problem. But I at least know what my body can do and I know that my best chance of getting back to that optimum fitness that I feel my body could do is very dependent on continuing to work working with Brian. Having Brian push me.

I always tell him if something’s too much. I’m dealing with a couple recovery from some injury right now. And he always keeps that in mind. So it’s really important. And Jamie, I don’t even know if I’m answering your question. But this is so important, to have someone that doesn’t have his own agenda for you. And he gives you that reality check. And that’s really the best gift you can get from your personal trainer.

Yeah. Well, I think you talked about it. It’s the accountability. You spend a certain amount of time, David, you and I have talked about this a lot. We often spend more time with our personal trainers than we do with the doctors and other health care providers in our life. And so if you’re meeting on a weekly basis, maybe it’s a monthly basis, it’s a check in point to all the other things that are happening in your life. What are your habits outside of there? And all those pieces. So I think it’s interesting just to have that accountability. Not just the fitness and what you’re doing there, but in these other aspects of health and well being.

Well, and the other thing that Brian does is he knows I have an AC joint issue that’s been happening. I mean, what is this now? It’s beyond a year. And I’ve had a couple of shots and hopefully, this last shot will take. But he is constantly saying, “Well, what is the doctor suggest? Because the doctor knows I lift weights.” And he always wants to make sure he has that his mind as he plans out our weekly– we’re usually weekly, workout.

And the other thing that’s really nice that I couldn’t do for myself and I can’t even stress this enough. I could never come up with the variety that Brian comes up with for me. And even when I think I can, I’ll duplicate that later in the week when I go back to try to lift a second time. I’ll remember like two things. Even if it’s on the sheet that he sends me, I don’t I always remember it. So I do need him for the variety, the creativity. And it’s not just creativity to have a cool workout, it actually is trying to get us somewhere. It’s very intentional.

Yeah. I’d say that you’re hitting on all the big key points here, the value of having a coach. And you being a coach, Brian being a coach, Jamie has some form or fashion, you’re a coach. And you use the word accountability. And I stress this so much as far as how it’s two separate words, account and ability. And when you look at account, we’re usually looking at metrics that we’re trying to achieve.

And in this case, it could be I’m trying to have faster time. I might be trying to lose weight or body fat. The ability piece is where the coach really starts to shine. Alright? And what I mean by that is it’s either a skill or a will, right? And which one am I lacking in that space? If it’s the skill to the point of like, oh, OK.

I was unaware of doing more unilateral work or mid line strength. And now, that awareness, Brian has now brought to you. That’s the skill piece. Now, the will, now you’re aware of it and you’re responsible now for what has been showcased to you. That goes back to another ability, responsibility. So that’s the beautiful part about having a coach. Is because yes, they can bring awareness to these things, but it’s a two way street.

As the athlete, you now have to be on point with these things that you’re being educated and empowered with. We talk about it all the time. It’s like knowledge is power. And I’m like, nope. The application of that knowledge is when it becomes power. So I mean, I’m glad we’re having this conversation and everybody that’s listening, is the power of a coach. And all the great ones, whoever you want to look at down the line as far as being great in their craft, they all had coaches.

So one piece of this that I know has been maybe a side benefit for you Roshini, you mentioned, is the mental and emotional support that this relationship has offered. And I wondered if you wanted to speak to that. And Brian also, you maybe once Roshini has a chance to chime in, how do you address that with clients and understand where they are emotionally when they’re working with you?

Right. And I’m sure Brian really knows this. That there’s a little bit of like friendly counselor that comes with being a coach. And I know that in my work with executives, there’s that trust that’s needed so they really share everything with you. We need to know what else is going on in their lives that they’re comfortable sharing.

And the other thing is with telling Brian things and Brian knows some of the places like my before and after. So when we first started working together, and I used– like I said, I used to have a four pack. My ab strength wasn’t really a huge issue for so much of my life, but definitely the last few years.

But when I came to Brian, it really– I had no ab strength. It felt like– And so those hollow holes that some of you have done, it was hard for me to hold it for 10 seconds. But I’m now able to hold for a minute or more. And that says something.

And that’s a real focus that Brian has helped me with. He listens that I wanted to work on ab strength. And then we worked on it, right? In different ways, not just with the hollow holes, thank God. But those have improved. And so the listening to it and then the before and afters. But there’s no one else who has, it’s much fun talking about it, is you and your coach.

I mean, I can tell my husband that, and he’s very supportive of everything I do, but he’s not going to care that I now can hold this for 60 seconds like Brian does, and why that matters so much. So the granularity with which you can talk about things with your coach that you just, no one else is going to really give it you know what about. So that’s also a nice benefit. And really, the friendship.

I hope that we’re together for a long, long time. I’ve referred him to other people. My husband has done some workouts with him. So he is definitely a friend. And I care about his life, he cares about my life. And that has been just a benefit that I didn’t necessarily foresee, even though I have become friends with my clients too. But I didn’t foresee that in this space.

Well, it sounds like it’s like the celebration of your successes, right? Like Brian, you see the starting point to where people get. Hey, high five along the way with every little step in the way. And also like being able to meet them where they are from a headset every time they show up, right?

I know I worked out with my personal trainer this morning. And I showed up and I was like, “I’m in a really tough spot right now.” You have to be able to adjust on the fly based on where people are. So Brian, you want to speak to that a little bit and how you address that?

I think just maybe state and what’s again what probably both parties going in and that success isn’t always linear, right? Doesn’t always. And you’re going to have those days like you just said where life happens. And you need to adjust and pivot sometimes on the fly to make sure that they’re not walking out feeling worse than when they walked in. Hopefully, it’s the opposite of that. They’re always walking out feeling better than when they walked in.

I think another thing that at least I try to do is I don’t really give sugarcoated or just compliments to give compliments just to give them. If I am going to give one, it is going to be genuine. But in terms of what I’ve always have learned I guess over the years is that for any of us that has played high school or any type of sports and stuff like that, you’re used to getting all these cheers, right?

And so you get the applause of hopefully your family, your friends, your teachers, everything else. And then if we’re lucky enough to go to college, maybe those cheers carry on and the very few in professional life. But typically, at some point in time, the cheers go away and the demands of life come in. And basically, it’s a lot of you’re not doing this and you’re not reaching this bar. And it’s almost like a reverse of you’ve gotten claps all of your life, now you’re getting slaps all of your life, right?

So I think highlighting and celebrating wins, it doesn’t matter the size as far as what someone might think is small to what is large. A win is a win. And so to get those cheers back in someone’s life, I think really helps even more so than the application of the training. It’s believing in yourself again. It’s feeling good about yourself again. Seeing hope and stuff as well. So I lean towards into that side of things of that whether you want to call it a cheerleader, a motivator, encourager, whatever it might be.

I do always like the term coach rather than trainer. I think you train monkeys but you coach people. So I hate when it’s like personal trainer. I think all of us have a coach on there going through as well. So I know that I have that people in my life that I can go back to. And I know that they’re going to have my best interest in mind and help uplift me and not put me down.

So I just do my best to try to be that for those that are in my life. And Roshini said it as well. The friendship that we have, she’s had some hard things go on in her life over the time of us be together and I have as well. And both of us have reached out to each other to see how we’re doing, whether it’s to give a hug, a text, whatever it might be, a couple of words of encouragement. So now Roshini has become a dear friend of mine as well.

That’s awesome. You gave some different adjectives there as far as just descriptions, if you will. That educator, the motivator, the cheerleader, whatever it may be. But it’s all encapsulating as far as a coach. And I love that you brought that up. And we might be a little bit more on one end than the other, but that’s the beautiful part about being a coach is you’re going to continue to evolve just like your athletes are going to continue to evolve in this space.

So you’ve got to give some of these cheat codes out, Brian. You’ve coached so many different individuals and including Roshini right here to their goal. So like, what do you seek or see as the essential elements as far as the relationship to ensure success? And I know that is so broad as to your point, like little or big what success is. But what’s the key essential elements that you would want to share with coaches listening right now?

When it comes to a goal and talking about keeping the goal the goal, a coach should always have that as their forefront as far as what’s important. So say Roshini walks in. Running a strength train has always been a part of her life. But now she has these other goals of running, right?

If the coach then starts around like strength training is king and it trumps everything and it should be prioritized before you’re running and all that type of stuff, then they’re missing the point and they’re not listening, right? So I always ask, what her mileage looks like, what days, who she’s running with. All that type of stuff leading up to any of our training sessions. Do we need to pull back a little bit? Can we push a little bit more?

And so we fit strength training in, supplementing this to help get to her goal but not like wiping her out. And now she’s going to go for a big run and that’s certainly her passion and that suffers. Or she’s got a little bit of a lull in her run, and so now we can push a little harder, right? So knowing when to apply the right amount of pressure and pull back, I think is really huge.

But I will say this. So sometimes people think it’s like this magic formula. I’m going to go train with this person because they’ve had this person have this success, right? So I remember back in Michigan, someone came up to me and said, “Will you partner with me in the 60-day like you partnered with so-and-so?” And I said, “Well, that individual wanted their goal more than I wanted it for them.”

I’m like, “If you’re not at least 51% or more bought in, because I’m going to see you for two or maybe three hours a week, 1 to 3 hours, something like that. And that you have your and who’s your team?” You need a team around you so you need a few other people that you’re going to share this with. But you need to want that even more than I want it for you or whoever the coach may be. And I’m going to come alongside I’m going to push you when I feel like you need to be pushed.

I’m going to comfort when think you need to be comforted and stuff. But that individual, that has to be a burning desire inside their hearts to accomplish that goal. And then the coach comes along the side to help breathe fresh air into them when they’re feeling that their goal is to end or their motivation or their passion for their goal is like maybe falling down a little bit.

And that was going back to Roshini. I knew she was a motivated person when she sought me out rather than kind of vise versa. So I knew that going in but I also know life gets in the way. So whenever I feel like, “Oh, I did this but,” and I think a lot of times you hear that as well. Like, “Oh, I.” PR but it was only by this or I just missed the PR by that. And I’m like, “A PR is not always meant to be broken.”

The stars got to align. Your nutrition has to be good. Your sleep has to be good. A true PR, if you’re just like crushing it time and time, again, it’s probably not true PR. And you might hit it one day and you might not another day and that’s OK. And so we go back to the drawing board. So yeah, I always think that whoever has the goal, they need to want it more than you want it for them.

Roshini, what are the elements that have made it successful for you. I mean, obviously Brian is big on listening, making sure to know. But how about you from the client side? What has made this relationship work for now a year plus for the two of you?

Well, it really does all start with good communication. So for example, we usually are working out on Monday mornings at 7:15 AM and it’s a great way for me to start my week. But Brian knows that I generally run with my team Saturday and Sunday morning. And Sundays are our team’s long run day. And so a long run for some people is 8 miles, whatever. It could be anywhere from 8 miles to 20 miles.

And so he knows that if I’m going to be running 12 or more miles on a Sunday, he’s not giving me, an all leg workout on that Monday. But if I’m for some reason switching to Saturday or switching to Friday because I’m traveling, I’ll let him know so that, oh, now that gives him another option for our Monday workouts. So that communication is important. That I don’t just expect Brian to have all the answers. I give him data points so he can adjust as he wants for us.

And then also, the reality check. I love how he talked about that PR thing. I think he had me in mind for part of that example because in October 2022, I was going for a 10K PR, a lifetime PR. And I hadn’t run that distance in a while. I knew it was a tight training time. It was like nine weeks. Even a couple of people on my running team who usually are very positive, we’re just like, “This is a short training period. This isn’t a half. I mean, this is a 10K. Like you need speed.”

And I said, “Are you kidding me? Are you telling me I can’t do this in nine weeks?” And so it wasn’t like I was starting from zero. I had been lifting and I was in shape but just for that speed that you have to hit. So I knew what my PR would be. And again, as Brian says, the PR is even one second faster than your previous PR. So I was 99% sure I could do that but I had set a faster number for the PR.

So I got better than one second faster but not that original thing I said. But it was a PR. And both my husband and Brian pointed that out to me. That was a PR. Well, the sweet thing is Brian wanted me to text him as soon as I thought of it after I got my time. Once you know your official time, let me know. I mean, that’s really sweet. I know he has family time on a Saturday morning when I ran this race, but I told him I would and I texted it to him.

And it was just fun so that when I got to my workout on Monday morning, he also knew I had just raced. So we weren’t doing legs that Monday, right? So it’s like everything works together and it does always start with great communication. Humor is important. And that’s another thing that’s really fun about at least our club, the St. Louis Park Lifetime is the trainers seem to all genuinely like each other, get along.

At any given time, there are solo sessions happening. Regular people just working out on their own without coaches and then group sessions going on. So it is fun to see that energy. And I’m the kind of person that can’t do a workout video at home or online. I need the feel of the club, the energy. And even though I know how to lift, I could be in the club. I’m not going to get as great of a lifting workout without Brian. So it’s my own commitment to myself and investment in my wellness to continue to make this a priority in my life.

Point. I got to throw this one out there because I think everybody needs to hear it. Maybe this is a selfish agenda of David right now but I want you both to speak on we associate so much to the feeling of the workout. The endorphins and I got to work more. I got to work more. Can you all speak about the relationship you have to recovery and how you all bring that to life so you become more impactful within all that you’re doing? That you’re trying to get to as far as a result. So can you walk us through recovery and how that’s part of the regiment?

So I just kind of ask as far as like, what is something that helps you go to your zen place, de-stress, whatever it might be? I don’t get it very much anymore. But going to a coffee house by myself, people watch, maybe read, whatever it is. Everyone’s got their thing that helps them. So are you mixing that in, right? So that’s going to be very specific to the individual what it might be.

And then when it comes, David, where you said specific to training. Knowing that Roshini is a runner. I’ve even asked her over at our Edina location. Or I know you can make an appointment to go get the NormaTec put on your legs and stuff like that. Or having certain type recovery things. Do you have a foam roller at home? Do you have a Theragun at home?

Are you taking your magnesium in the evening and stuff like that? So whatever it might be, like little things. The little things is what separates athletes, right? The ones that actually are excelling in hitting goals and hitting PRs and stuff, they’re doing the little things. And that makes the big gap between athletes, in my opinion.

So it’s run through those. Have you been able to foam roll? Have you been able to get your magnesium? How’s your sleep been? Have you been able to get over to Edina for a NormaTec? Just things that’s keep where we may know them but just like as anything else, sometimes you’re like, “Oh, yeah. I haven’t taken magnesium in a week or a month,” whatever it might be.

So little things like that for recovery because that’s going to help you to be able to have that green light to go and push when you want to rather than feeling sluggish. You’re running through mud. You’re feeling like there’s a fog around you. So just reminding some of those little small things. And then, Roshini, hand it back over to you of anything that sticks. Anything I’m missing out on that we’ve talked about, anything that you’re doing that’s specific to you.

Well, I’m glad you mentioned the magnesium because I will say I don’t take it every night. I probably should but every time I take it I’m reminded, Brian is who suggested I do this and I’ve got to take my magnesium. So I mean, I wouldn’t have even thought of that on my own. And then he said, “Take it at night.” I wouldn’t have thought of that on my own. So there are different things like that he’s done to give me those little tweaks that help me.

Recovery is something that no one has to convince me to do. And it’s not just because I’m at happy hour or something. It’s really about not doing something physical. And it’s definitely with my running team, big believers in recovery. But some of my running teammates do this thing called streaks. So at least 1 mile a day. They’re streaking. And one of my teammates just hit 10 years. I don’t need to do that.

I can go a day without running a mile, right? I can go a day. I can go more than a day without doing any kind of really hard workout. I mean, I always have a dog that I have to walk multiple times a day. I’m always moving. And so one of the things I coach with my executives is green space. And that’s like an example of what Brian said about being at a coffee shop just chilling and people watching.

Whatever that green space is and I color code it on my calendar, that is just that time that has nothing to do with work. And in green space are also my physical time. So my green space spent time with Brian every Monday morning is actually green on my calendar. If I go for a run, it’s green. Like this morning, I had coffee with a friend. That’s green. So I need that green space, whether it’s an actual physical thing or a break from the physical and more of a mental, social thing.

And then the recovery. If I know I’ve run a long run on a Sunday morning, the only thing I will do that night, and it’s become sort of a regular, is the surrender yoga. I love that restorative yoga and I try to do it at least once a week. And I really like that Sunday evening class at St. Louis Park. But otherwise, just good fitness practices now for almost 40 years. That you need the movement but you need the rest.

A couple of weekends ago, I was lazy. I also was a little ill and I didn’t run either day. So I told Brian. I said, “This should hopefully be a good workout because my legs have done really nothing besides walk the dog this weekend.” And it was. Monday was a really good workout because of that. So it’s nice that you can look at it that way instead of, “Well, I was so lazy I didn’t run all weekend.” But it also meant I had a great workout with Brian the following day.

I love that shift in perspective with that just because it is so easy to be like, “Oh,” get down on yourself for not doing that. Like, “Hey, this is an opportunity not just like a reason to scold myself for this but.”

I want to know the green. I mean, now I’m trying to go into the C-suite with you right now. So the significance of green and then all the things that are considered green. So I’m assuming nothing that’s work related is what you’re saying.

That’s the baseline definition. And I mean, I’ve been interviewed about this as well as I coach it to all my clients. So the funny thing, David, is the color. It’s like a light pleasant color of green grass. And my original business calendar, the color for personal time was this green color.

And I just started using it for my runs, my workouts, my lunches and coffees that were not business. And then I just started calling it green space. So it’s this concept that I really came off of that calendar which is really funny. I couldn’t change the color on it if I wanted. But it really does bring zen. I think green does give zen to a lot of people.

But whatever it is. I remember specifically within two years of starting my business, one of my leaders, he could not come up with something that he could do that would just totally relax him and be green space. I said, “Alright, let’s just dwell on this for a moment. What is something that you do that when you’re doing it, you are not thinking of work?” And he said, “Riding my motorcycle.”

I said, “That’s green space.” I said, “I want you to do at least 15 minutes once a week.” You can’t just ride a motorcycle for 15 minutes. So then we’re getting into at least an hour a week, motorcycle trips, all this stuff. So that was so winning for him, that we identified what he needed and then he put it on his calendar and did it. So calendar is important. Nothing is real to me unless it’s on the calendar, and the green space has to be there.

I just love that you have that there because I can tell you right now, and Roshini, you and I have worked together. Most of my calendar are obligations and things. But it’s not like– my me time is not scheduled in as much other than like my Friday morning workout with my trainer. Otherwise, I mean, OK, so now I have I have work to do. I have some opportunity on my calendar to get some things marked down in.

Well, and it gives you this joy, right? I’ve had a super huge week. Have been on and off trying to feeling a little ill and really having to pull myself up because I had some big stage events this week. And I know my husband wants to watch a basketball game tonight. And that’s at 5:30.

It’s green space on my calendar and I told him– middle of the day, I called him on my way to a lunch meeting. I said, “I’m living for 5:30 today. Not because I’m enjoying everything else I do today but like, that’s when I actually can just turn my mind off and just be.” And when you know it’s on your calendar, it also improves everything else you do that day.

I have to do it just because I looked it up. I had to look it up. So green actually represents new beginnings and growth and signifies renewal and abundance. So that was just a sign that green meant something and you brought it to life. So that’s awesome.

Should I trademark, David? Green space.

You need to hurry up and trademark it.

I love it. Well, there’s like tones of green on the screen right now in these videos. Roshini, your walls. I think Brian you’ve got a light green shirt on. I’ve got some green plants over here.

Yeah. And believe me, this never was supposed to be like a room. It is green for more of the piece. It was all obviously pre-COVID painted. Green is not a great color for TV and video. But how I counter that is I have to watch what I wear. Like I can’t wear green when I’m on this screen.

Funny. Well, I’m blue on blue today. So who knows but–

If you guys want to start chanting, go green, go white, we can do that.

Your color. His color.

Yeah, we won’t do that.

Well, Brian and Roshini, I mean, I think what’s really powerful about this is that we hear all the time about coach client relationships. And some people are like, is it? It is an investment to do this and it’s not always accessible for everybody. But even occasionally, it’s a really interesting way to help people make some meaningful progress, to see themselves and build confidence. So I’m curious, before we sign off of this episode and before I hand it over to you, David, for your question, Is there anything else you would want people to know about what this has brought to both of your lives? Both being a coach and being a client and having this friendship form as a result.

Well, I’ll say this. There was a time as a business owner like I couldn’t have afforded Brian, for sure. But when I did have personal training during those parts of my life, I maybe had someone who was at a lower price point and didn’t do it weekly, right? It started with I am very much a believer in weightlifting and strength conditioning and having someone guide me through it.

But it’s a combination of it helps when you’re a little more financially secure. But I do believe you can find someone out there and Brian will help find the price point you can do. But I cannot tell you the exponential value of what I am investing in this time with Brian. So it’s that.

And then a few years ago, to a business group I’m a part of, Vikings’ quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke. And he talked about all the different things he does and invest in himself. Some of it the team’s doing, some of it is his money. And he’s got a lot more than Brian and I have. But he said, “When it comes to what goes into my body, food, physical, fitness, therapies, I will never skimp.” And that really resonated with me.

And I thought, no matter what, that is a very smart advice and I’m going to incorporate that into my life when it matters. And once I found Brian, it’s like, this matters. And even in your life, if you have to give up your Chai tea latte or cocktail or one time, you can do that and put it into this kind of training. It is far more worth the investment than almost anything else you can do.

There’s one thing that I think needs to be highlighted from Roshini because Roshini, I think you could go around to any personal training team and if you just drill in on this one aspect that you are very good at and even better than I am at as well, is making it like you anchor that training day around everything else.

So I don’t know how many times I could say word for word. Roshini will come to you. I got some travel coming up. I want to make sure I get my workouts in so we might need a front load, might need a back load, might need to put two in on this week, whatever it might be to get those on the calendar.

Because just as you were saying, if it’s not on the calendar, it ain’t going to happen type thing, right? And that’s what every coach, every trainer should be doing as well. Is being like, alright, life happens. And people are going to travel and work some suddenly come up. People are going to get sick, whatever it might be. But consistency over time wins, period.

So it’s the lulls and the drop offs and stuff that you see that you’re always of doing the yo-yo effects to some degree. So Roshini, I think that obviously, with your background and your coaching background and stuff, and realizing just so you talked about the green space and talked about putting on the calendar. And talked about priorities when it comes to your health. It’s like the oxygen mask in the plane, right?

Make sure you’re putting it on yours before you’re helping somebody else. You’ve been tremendous at that as far as making sure it’s on the calendar. So I guess one of the things before hand it back to you guys is, prioritize yourself. Not thinking that you’re going to be selfish, but you prioritizing yourself, you’re actually getting yourself to be in a better position to help others.

Well, and I’ll just add on to this from what Brian is saying. The earlier in life you can learn that, the better. Because like, I’m just not going back and I’m older than probably all of you on this call. It makes it so much better because you actually can do more when you prioritize yourself in these healthy zones. But it doesn’t really neglect knowing yourself.

So Brian has had me try some groups classes. He’s suggested other trainers as well as himself. I’ve done the combo. The group stuff just doesn’t work for me, like those different classes. And look, people look like they’re having so much fun. I wish that worked for me. But I have that with my running team. So that team motivation, I have with my running team. When I am lifting weights and doing this kind of stuff, I need individual focus.

Every once in a while, my husband joins me. So two of us, fine. But I need that full attention from Brian. And I know that about myself. And that’s OK. So if you can’t do solo but you could do a group, try that. Just give it a try. But I gave it a try and he understands. That’s fine. But she’s not going to do that. I’m not going to force her. So you do have to know yourself, but you also– it’s helpful to be pushed a little. To that accountability piece and push to your next limit. And that’s really a huge role that Brian plays in my life.

Alright. It’s game time. I call it this the mic drop moment. And the reason why it’s the mic drop moment is this, you get a question. You don’t know where the question comes from and it’s thrown at you and you’re on the spot. It’s like that hot seat, right? So it’s pretty much going to be your personal definition as far as how the word comes to you and what it means to you through your life experiences. So you’re each going to get a word. You can paper, rock, scissors, who wants to go first here.

Brian can go first.

Brian, here we go. Your word, define what adversity means to you.

I think adversity starts within our own mind, to be honest with you. We tend to put up the worst case scenarios. We tend to put up the most roadblocks. So a lot of times, fear will keep us from accomplishing a goal or setting a goal, whatever it might be, and almost like paralyzes us.

So adversity, as far as in my mind, is sometimes self-inflicted. Sometimes you need somebody to help get you out of the way. But I think as far as adversity is only as big as you’re making it within your mind.

Roshini, here we go. What is failure to you?

It’s so funny that you are asking me this today, David, because I was just this morning on a client session. I was quoting one of my favorite quotes from a mentor. There is not success and failure, there is success and learnings. So we can’t completely ignore that you’ve had– people have failures.

I’ve had failures. And I would like to think I’ve grown from those failures. And the more and more you do what you do, and try to become that master or expert of what you do, you have to have had failure to have credibility. So I can tell you, I’ve had failures in marathons.

I mean, I’ve been chasing the 4:30 marathon for years. I have been able to break two hours on a half, which should say you should get a 4:30 or faster full marathon. But I haven’t. Should I look at that as a failure? No, it’s a learning because guess what? The first time I was able to do the whole marathon without using the bathroom, that was a success.

So even though I didn’t hit 4:30 and if you’ve run a marathon, you know what I mean. Even though I didn’t hit 4:30, that was a win, as Brian likes us to find, from that year. So failure, like adversity, is what you make of it. Can you learn from it? Can you use it to prevent future misdirections? And definitely, not something to get down on yourself about. But what I’ve learned is sometimes I need to give myself a day, right?

And if I really need to complain about it, if it’s a physical thing, I can complain about it with Brian. If it’s something connected to work, I have a team. If it’s a weird client thing, whatever, sometimes I just need to go for a run. But you do need to give yourself the physical space and the mental space to just deal with it. But be careful who you deal with it with. So that’s the only thing I would say there.

But failures breed credibility. Experience is the only way to get better at anything. And you cannot just live with success, success, success, success. I also learned from that same client this morning who was surprised by a big event that her company had and they brought in Tom Brady to speak and inspire them. And Tom Brady said, “Did you know I was fourth string?” Was it Michigan State?



Yes, Michigan. Sorry, I should have known that. Michigan. Fourth string, never thought he played well. He obviously got over it. Drafted, not first, not even 100th that year when he was drafted. So you’ve got to have that to have street cred. So that someone looks at you when you do rise to the level of anybody who’s doing it at an elite level and they don’t question how you got there.

Those are the new definitions I’m going to try to connect with Webster before the end of today. Get those put in.

Oh, David. You got connections. I bet you can make it happen if you really wanted.

Even if I fail, I’m going to learn through that experience.

You learn, right?

Well, Brian and Roshini, thank you both so much for coming on. I mean, we have tons of resources that we’re going to share in the show notes about the importance of these relationships. We’ll share links to both of you so people can connect with you. But just thanks for taking the time to talk about this.

I think seeing examples of what these relationships can look like is really relatable for a lot of people. And it’s exciting to see, what’s the possibility here? And what could I learn from something similar? So thank you both. And yeah, more to come. We want to hear more about this down the road. Keep us posted on what’s next.

We’ll do, Jamie. Thanks so much Jamie, David. And I like to think of myself as my client secret weapon, Brian’s mine.

I love that.

I appreciate you all.


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