Fitness Professional Online

Fitness Professional Online Show 021 : Greg Maurer

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Announcer: Welcome to the Fitness Professional Online Radio Show where you get access to fitness industry news, tips and insights from professionals around the world. Visit us at and now, your host, Doug Holt.

Doug Holt: Hello everyone and welcome to Episode 21 of Fitness Professional Online Show. I’m your host Doug Holt. I don’t know about you but I remember my 21st birthday or at least what I can remember of it. What a great time and always fun to go back to memory lane and I’m happy we made it to 21 now.

We’re working on some of our audio quality issues as we’d say and here we are towards the middle of November. We got Thanksgiving and the holiday’s right around the corner and I know my mastermind group is working on planning for 2015 and mapping out what that looks like for all our goals as well as our business and all our marketing efforts and hopefully you’re doing the same.

If you’re not a member of our mastermind group, hopefully you’re a member of another Mastermind group or you have a community that you can reach out to, to share ideas and exchange information. That’s the key. It’s all about synergy. I got a very exciting show for you to day. I got Greg Maurer. He’s going to be on the show with us and Greg has a diverse background. He’s been in the industry for a very long time and has worked in just about every part of the industry.

In this episode, Greg and I are going to talk about what it takes to be a real fitness professional? How to get to the top? Also, we’re going to talk about bio- mechanics, eccentric training, and a lot more. Some of you have noticed and I thank you for the feedback. We are doing a complete website overhaul at so stay tuned. In about a month or so you’re going to see a completely new look with a goal of just giving you easier access to articles, information, and a whole community that you can get into so stay tuned for more information on that on

If you are interested in finding more about our mastermind groups, we are accepting applications for the 2015 year. You can go ahead and e-mail me, for more information. I’ll be happy to get that to you. For those of you that don’t know Greg, let me give you a little bit of his background.

Greg Maurer is an accomplished strategic adviser, professional speaker, club management, sales and marketing consultant, as well as a fitness programming expert. His expertise and experience in club management, commercial fitness product and program development, business development, marketing strategy, and strategic planning as well as implementation has led him to a track record of success in many areas of the fitness and wellness industry.

Greg has over 27 years of experience in the commercial fitness industry and so I’m so happy to have him here with us today. So without further ado, let’s bring on Greg.

Hey, Greg. Thank you so much for being with us today. I really appreciate taking the time.

Greg Maurer: Thank you, Doug. I’m glad to be able to be with you.

Doug Holt: You got so much experience. Everybody read from you bio. In the industry for close to three decades. I just want to jump right into it because I know there is so much I want to talk to you about. The first question I have for you is seeing as much you’ve seen and doing as much as you’ve done, what are some of the major changes you’ve seen along the way in the fitness industry and where do you see us going?

Greg Maurer: I think the biggest changes that have occurred are what I would call the “rise of the trainer”. Trainers were not factor when I entered this industry or there were people they were trainers but didn’t have the word for it and so it changed it. There is an enormous number. I think 6.8 million the last number I read for the United States. There’s enormous number of people moving in and there’s an enormous amount of quality education which has come online through multiple organizations and it’s changing the face of fitness forever. Trainers are the interface between the client in health clubs and other facilities. They’re the person that are actually talking to the end client. So they were the rubber that meets the road and in paradigm before personal training is evolving very, very rapidly from a more machine-based approach to a more functional approach to fitness and that’s happening because of what’s happening on the education side with all these organizations such as NASM and many others out there that are educating training.

Doug Holt: I agree with you right on. I think it’s going to be interesting because some of the people listening right now probably didn’t realized it that once personal training wasn’t actually a profession. It was kind of the fittest guy in the gym or woman would help people out and actually it wasn’t something we actually did as a career.

Greg Maurer: Now it is a career. Now you really can have a career and it is truly a profession and there are lots of opportunities and more of them to build a true career. So instead of just looking at the personal training is something that you do for awhile, you can build a career and you can build your own business.

And I think that’s really exciting that trainers have the opportunity now through multiple channels to build through on business of the time. They need to learn the business and that takes us much effort as learning about anatomy and physiology and training. So then you’ll be on both sides of those things but there are opportunities for trainers to do that and they can have wonderful careers where they can open their own facility. They can open multiple facilities and there’s not one way to do that. There are many different ways for trainers to build a true career path in the industry and that’s exciting for me.

Doug Holt: You’ve worked a lot in the commercial gym industry, right?

Greg Maurer: Yes, I have.

Doug Holt: And I know you talk about a lot of topics from running bio-mechanics to eccentric training. One of the questions I want to top up on you, what are some of the things that most people don’t know about eccentric training?

Greg Maurer: Most people with eccentric, if I asked a group of trainers for example. We all know the world usually end that. If I say “What’s the eccentric training?” or “Tell me what an eccentric muscle function? They’ll say the muscle is getting longer. And of course that statement is correct but that statement doesn’t really mean anything. What do you do with that statement?

So I’ll ask a follow-up question and you really can understand eccentric training without understanding concentrichanized symmetric muscle function. So I’ll say, “Let’s go through each one.” So starting with concentric muscle function which is kind of more conspicuous because if we see that in movement more, I’ll ask these question, I’ll say, “So you know that the muscle is getting shorter but was does the body do? Hw a body does used concentric contractions?” and normally I get stares because people hadn’t really thought about. The answer to that is that the body uses concentric contractions whenever it is trying to project force externally.

So if you’re trying to push something, pull something, put something, throw something, jump or push-off, that action is having concentrically and that’s how you would explain it a client, “Our muscles getting shorter and its producing force that you’re applying through something or someone externally.”

And then we say, “What about isometrics? And every trainer knows that isometric is that the muscle is producing force but not moving. But again, the question is for our clients and ourselves, what does that mean? What do you do with isometric contractions? And the answer to that is that you prevent movement.

So you’re using isometric contraction in the body to prevent movement of a joint or joints and you use it to stabilize. So from your picking example, explaining to a client, you say, “You need to stabilize as your body follows and where the body depending on the movement and the position you’re in. So any muscle can act as a stabilizer or it can act concentrically to do force.

And then this sets the stage for the third muscle function which is eccentric function which is the muscle length or negative muscle function. So again, the question is “What does that mean?” and “What do you do with it in human movement?” How does the body use eccentric function? And there are three answers to that. One, whenever we absorb force we do so eccentrically. Muscles are length in an under load and they’re absorbing force whenever you decelerate. So when you slow down when you’re running or you land when you’re jumping, you’re decelerating.

The third thing you do is that you store and reclaim energy eccentrically. So why is that relevant? Well, if you don’t absorb forces you get hurt. So if you don’t have eccentric strength and muscle endurance, you greatly increase your opportunity for injury. It’s so important. So we don’t get hurt when we jump up in the air so much we get hurt when? “When we land.” We don’t get hurt speeding up, we’re going to hurt slowing down, decelerating.

So if we don’t work on eccentric muscle function then we’re not going to train someone functionally because it’s super important. So the other thing we talked about was the ability to store energy. So in human movement, there’s a ubiquitous movement principle called the stretch shortening cycle. Ubiquitous means it’s everywhere and the stretch shortening cycle is when you load a muscle eccentrically.

So you load eccentrically. It’s lengthening and then you quickly rebound on the other direction and when you do this you’re using the innate elasticity of the muscles, tendons, and the elastic elements of muscles to produce more force and so you say “Why care?” Everyone who walks and run, efficiency is achieved via using the stretch shortening cycle. So when we’re landing, when we run, we store energy the muscles around our ankle or calf or knee [09:45] they go into reflection in the body, the center of gravity comes down slightly and that happens rapidly.

So we’re loading, we’re stretching the spring because our body uses muscles legs springs and movement and then the spring recoils with a concentric contraction. So up to 50% of the energy for movement, for locomotion in humans comes through this cycle. So it’s a spring.

Now, if you can absorb the force without getting injured, you’re going to get injured. So the muscles have to be able to be in attendance in the system, have to be able to tolerate this loading and it takes particular specific training in order to do that. So it’s very relevant and the fact is 95% of the trainers don’t include any meaningful eccentric training. And the reason they don’t is that eccentrically we are about one and a half to two times stronger.

So if I could squat a 100 pounds one time. If I could push it up in the air and stand up with it one time that means I can lower under control one-and-a-half to two times. That’s the fact that’s part of the way we’re designed. So if you think about that for a second that means as a trainer, when I select resistance for a client in any movement, I don’t care whether it’s band weight kettle bell, I always select a weight that they can lift because they have to lift before they can lower it.

So think about what I just said for a second and for one-and-a-half to two times stronger and I select the weight that I can lift, “How much meaningful overload is happening during the eccentric or negative phase?” and the answer to that is almost nothing. So I’ll put it this way, in standard weight training and resistance training protocol, the muscle that you’re targeting with the muscle groups you’re targeting, never reach eccentric fatigue. They fatigue but that fatigue is occurring during concentric function which means, “What we are doing to build eccentric strength and endurance?” and the answer Doug is we’re not doing anything.

And so it’s challenging to do that and you have to really understand the dynamics of the neuromuscular system and understand techniques and there are technologies available that really help that. Let me give you a concrete example. So if someone comes to you and says “I’m going to field in 8 weeks” and we all know what the thing is and they’re go to Colorado and they’re going to be bouncing up and down on mobiles. That is almost purely eccentric.

As you’re skiing, if you watch Johnny Mosley banging them in the Olympics, his knees are going up and down. Triple flexing; ankle, knee, and hip. As he hits that bump, he hast to absorb the kinetic energy of his body hitting that bump and that is 100% eccentric. Right?

Doug Holt: Yes.

Greg Maurer: So this guy told you that he’s going to go into an activity that’s eccentric dominant. So what does the typical trainer do? They do squats, lunges, they may do side-to-side stuff, they may throw him on a bike. All this stuff is really what I recall concentric dominant. There is no meaningful eccentric overload. So you prepared him but have you followed the rule of exercise physiology which is specific adaptation to impose demand and you have it.

So the guy goes out and guess what, he’s really not prepared for the activity. Now, if you had taken a few things like using a slide board as a great example and everyone listening to this if they find me on LinkedIn, they’ll find presentations on how to use a slide board and one of the reasons it’s so effective is there is a very dominant eccentric components which are essentially the way that it’s more difficult. There’s another technology out there called the “React Trainer.”

Again, if they find me they’ll find links to this and there are other techniques that you can use to preferentially load eccentrically so that we build that but that’s relevant to everyone. One last example, seniors don’t throw upstairs, they throw downstairs. Right?

Doug Holt: Yes.

Greg Maurer: We’re walking off in the morning, walking down the stairs. We’re eccentrically absorbing as we walk down. So this is a big gaping hole, strength and conditioning. There programs and trainers need to understand that and then they need to articulate it to the client so the client understands, “This is why this is relevant” and then of course obviously, that they know what they’re doing. They have to know how to program eccentrics.

Eccentrics are very different from concentric dominance. Eccentric can cause a lot more soreness, so we have to be careful. On eccentrics training also on a regular basis is going to improve the muscles ability to not get injured in a way that no other training can. So it’s called the “repeated bout effect”. So if we take someone and we do setbacks in more eccentric loading and they get fatigue today, 7 to 10 days later that single bout is going to make that muscle more resilient to injury and this is all in eccentric training, a lot of journey.

Again, if they find me on LinkedIn they’ll find also the presentation on this. It’s an area I speak up about a lot because frankly, it’s something that we learn and we don’t do anything with it. So we do something like say, “Lower the weight in 4 seconds.” I got to tell you, if you’re using weight that’s really light and by definition a weight you can lift is light on the lowering end. Lowering it for 4 seconds is not going to do a whole lot to really improve eccentric function.

And ultimately, if you want to be athletic the basis of power is the ability to produce force rapidly. The way you do that, Doug is through the stretch shortening cycle which means, there’s a phrase I use, “If you want to explode, you first have to lobe.” So eccentric training, one way analogy is it’s like taking a spring. The spring functional muscles, when we train the eccentric [15:42] we go beside the spring. The bigger the spring when we compress it, the stronger the concentric reaction.

So if I want to throw something, hit something hard, push something hard. I’ve got to use this stretch shortening cycle. But if I just don’t use it and the system is not prepared to eccentric training, I get injured. So plyometrics are a good example. Plyometrics are highly effective on the training. A plyometric exercise is initiated with rapid eccentric aerobic. If you’re not ready for that Doug, that rapid eccentric way? What it can do? It’s going to hurt you.

So we have a great technique but we kind of have to get people ready so that they can experience the ultimate kind that fits to those techniques and even seniors as I said need power at their level. When someone is falling as an example. Typically, falls can be prevented if someone can mount force quickly to catch them so if they can’t do that quickly if they’re not strong and relatively fast when they’re falling, down they go. So that’s the relevance of eccentrics and why I speak about it concerning people.

Doug Holt: Absolutely and there’s so much to take out of there. I get so excited because I teach this as well and you use all of the examples that I do and you’re much smarter than I am so I feel like I’m on the right path when I teach it. But just for the trainers listening out there, I run a training studio in Santa Barbara and I can’t tell you how many people come in with injuries because of being improperly trained. Very fit people or athletes who can’t even walk down the stairs and you mentioned because they can’t properly eccentrically load and protect their joints especially the knees type of muscles.

Just to touch on it real quick for the people listening and by the way, I own a slide board and I love it and so a great piece of equipment. Everybody should go out there and look into that. But you’re talking about the eccentric and the concentric and the stretch shortening cycle, how are you training so much with the amortization phase of that? Is there anything specific that you’re doing?

Greg Maurer: The technology that I like to use most if it’s available and it’s not available everywhere is called the React trainer and the reason I like to do that just to describe it briefly and it will hopefully kind of answer your question a little bit. So React trainer is a platform and the entire platform when you’re standing on it moves up and back in a reverse elliptical pattern.

So if you can imagine a bicycle movement. The pattern movement that moves reverse. So the entire platform comes up and back and it repeats back reverse elliptical pattern over and over again. So the person who stands on it with one or two legs and you can change orientation on what you tell the person to do. Ideally, it’s in front of a mirror. As the platform comes up, they have to let their ankle, knee, and hip flex. They have to accept the movement of the platform and then they follow it down by going into triple extension.

If they’re doing it properly, what they see in the mirror is there’s no movement at the hip, shoulder, or head and what’s happening is you’re absorbing the kinetic energy of that platform as it comes up and around and the platform will operate at different speeds.

So what you’re doing is you’re teaching the person. It’s like lurking on that landing or absorbing force phase over and over and over again and the load is based on their body weight. If you go on a single leg, then now you’ve of course doubled your load. So what it does is teach a person neuromuscular how to do that and you start off with the moderate speed. Super slow is hard because the time under tension is very high. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s in the coordination spin going to take longer but if you do it on a moderate setting, forty to fifty revolutions per minute as it’s coming at the personal learn pretty quickly.

Once they’ve learned that, now we can so to speak for example and as for athletic we can over time work at higher speeds because the way I’m going to deploy eccentrics in the world is I want to get them to gain speed. But the Catch 22 is just hard to get start someone there for the reasons I mentioned before, they can get injured.

And so what happens is you notice when we start people on this or in any other eccentric training regimen is, initially there’s going to be lots of delayed on-set muscular soreness and it’s going to last for, if you are really doing number on 7 to 10 days. But good news is that very quickly the phrase I use is that they “climatize” to that. What I mean is the person is 1 to 3 sessions. If you do exactly the same things or even more, they get zero soreness because the body responds to eccentric loading more rapidly so there’s a more rapid adaptive response both neuromuscularly and also structurally within the muscle and the tendon so you become more resistant to injury.

Once you see the person do that phase, the motor learning has occurred. They’re not getting sore, now, you can really up the level of condition very rapidly and they’ll take it. So it’s really gratifying to do because people get stronger really fast and they see and feel that they’re like “I first got on this machine, I could 30 seconds and I’m exhausted. Now, I’m doing 3 minutes.” And that could happen in two to three weeks. So between theories to me it’s the ideal way to introduce someone to eccentric training if they have the capability available.
Doug Holt: And you could do frontal and sagittal plane motions on that machine, right?

Greg Maurer: Exactly right. There are sort of people. All you’re doing is squats and lunges. When you want to be really blunt and directed squat and lunges, as you know, as to all the listeners now, there’s a million variants of squats and lunges and there are subtle differences. If I do a rear step back lunge versus a forward lunge. It’s the lunge but the recruitment pattern is different.

If I angle the feet differently in a squat, that makes a big difference. What am I targeting and how am I doing it. So it’s the same thing on the React. So what I say is all you’re doing is on the ground it’s pretty much concentric emphasis you’re actually doing and you need to do that. There’s nothing wrong. But when you toss someone on the React, what they’re learning is that it’s an eccentric emphasis.

So instead of going down to initiate the movement, their ankle and their hip is going in deflection as the platform comes up. So it’s kind of like landing from a jump over and over and over again and yes, you can do it in all different planes of motion if you get creative with it. So it’s a really cool piece because it does a lot of goods to prepare the person for multi-playing ability of sore force in multiple plane and directions.

Doug Holt: Absolutely. Fitness professionals regardless whether you’re a trainer, chiropractor, or what you’re doing, your first responsibility to your client is to protect them and make sure that they don’t get injured.

Greg Maurer: Yeah. That’s exactly why this is so important. And it kind of segues into the area you mentioned. I’ve heard a lot about running in the last 3 years. I have the opportunity to spend time but probably definitely one of the world’s leading authorities on running. His name is Nicholas Romanov. He excelled at something called The Pose Method. If you listeners go to YouTube and look at Pros TV. Incredible.

But long story short, running is full of this stretch shortening cycle and 85% of runners are injured every year and you know why they’re injured? I know why they’re injured anyway. They’re primarily injured because their heel striking and that has occurred because there’s been a real change in how we grow up. My generation, I’m 55, you were tossed outside, you are outside the whole time.

The other thing that changes, little children traditionally need to spend a ton of time crawling and a lot of parents today will kick their kids up and try to encourage them to walk and that’s done with the best of intentions but it’s really bad thing to do because the cross crawl pattern is ingrained in you neuromascularly from crawling. So you should do nothing to shorten that cycle.

Parents do it very often because they say they will project on themselves and they say, “That much towards his needs as a child.” The reality is, babies do not have a patella. The patella grows once the baby starts to stand and that it close in the quad tendon not so much to protect the knee. It creates increase leverage. It’s one of only a few sets and wide bones in the body. So we tell parents as it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t feel the same way for him to crawl in a hard floor as he go and it’s very important for his movement and his sight. Believe or not, it helps reading.

So you want your kid crawl for as long as long as they need to that pattern gets engrained in them. They stand up, they fall down, they go through a whole phase of balance. As we all know, they learn to squat. They have a beautiful squat than we squat because they play with it over and over again and they have the mobility necessary to do it right and then they begin to run.

They run very short distances and they always run on the front of their foot if you let them do barefoot or if you let them [25:08] less opening. They just automatically do that. Now, the foot is another example. The foot muscles, the three arches are not present in a baby. If you look in a normal kid and they’re standing up, their foot is flat. Their foot is flat, nothing that they have a flat foot.

If the arches grow based on the demand of the muscles of the lower leg and foot and that comes from what? Standing. Though you don’t use your foot a whole lot when you’re crawling around. So the foot starts to develop and the lower leg develops as you stand. And you tend to stand on your tiptoes a lot and that the kids like to walk around on the barefoot which is by the way what they should do. So this happens over a prolonged period of time. So there’s no sudden load on the tendons and the ligaments. Everything is developing strength based upon usage.

As they get older, in my generation they stand more and more and more. So that kind of kid was actually running. He’s already picked up the correct movement pattern as you can say he’s landing on the ball and most importantly, his body is ready to run because he didn’t go from 0-60. So people go out in their bodybuilding such skill, long story short.

Now, the bad news about heel stroking is that you’re using them as the innate spring quality of your foot that’s designed into your foot and your calf and will never going to reach their optimum potential as a runner and you have a much greater chance of getting injury. So your speed, endurance and your injury potential is higher. But when you’re running heel-toe you typically running with a big cushion on your heel and your calf and the foot does not get as much load.

So if you suddenly take that runner and he just goes out and starts running, he’s going to get hurt. He’s going to get a plenty or faster issue or is going to get a calf injury. But that doesn’t mean that barefoot running if you will, that most running is bad, it means that you can’t just wake up and say “I’m going to do it.” And because people have grown up in a heavily shoot environment, barefoot starting with people as trainers who’s foot and lower rod are incredible weak and they lack mobility.

So really what needs to happen is before someone decide to start running if they’re not running and they’re adult we need to do our job. We need to spend a ton of time on single leg stability because remember when we’re running we’re going to spend the entire time on one leg but never on two legs. Along with three times our bodyweight. The foot has to be strong so we should be training them barefoot as much as we can and we should be training them on stable and unstable environments for stability and strength because need to build the strength, we should be doing repetitive jumping type exercise with a low amplitude short duration to build those strings that are the foot archers in the calf and if you give me someone who’s not been running at all as the typical person today, they really shouldn’t running for about 6-8 weeks.

The first thing I do is “We’re going to get one of these shoes, this beautiful shoes and I want you to walk around in them and you can train on a bike and you can do everything but running. No running on them” and you wait until they tell you, “Yeah. My foot suggested.” You know as well as I do if go to flat shoes, the zero drop shoes and then no shoes. They truly is going to have to adjust because [28:42] to walking around with a heel to [28:43] shorts. Sort of all the time. Never have to be that lame.

So we kind of give that system a chance to chronically adapt to that new position. Keep working on mobility. Keep working on the strength of the foot of the lower leg and then obviously, the core is always involved because we have to maintain a stable corner. But we really need to kind of have a corporation to run program. Even with someone who’s going to heel strike? You can’t just take him, rip that shoe up and say “Run only with barefoot. You’re going to be fixed.”

The other thing is because most people have not learned to run correctly, they have not learned to skill of running and running is a skill. Make no mistake. There’s a lot for you. There are lots of opportunities as a coach to learn that but you got a lot of learning to do but you can do things like do a video now using a slow motion act. And then they give you [29:38] some suggestion [29:39].

If you’ve ever seen Ubersense. That’s Ubersense, you’re going to get that on your iPhone or your iPad. Their products are great because they record at 60 frames per second. This app is so easy to use but allows you to do things that cost $15,000 to $25,000 3 years ago in movement analysis and it’s F40 app.

Another one for Angela-based products is called Coach’s Eye. I encourage everyone to get them because when you start foxing it then, what you can do is you record someone doing any task whether it’s running bio or doing a squat or a lunge but you pretty pass the activities like langdon drills where things are happening faster. Then when you replay that video, there’s a scroll bar in the bottom so you can go frame by frame and you can mark the video. It’s amazing won’t you say, it’s absolutely amazing. That’s amazing you show the client.
So I’ll give you example. I went the other day with the kids. People said that you know how to prepare a girl to knock at endurance injury sport and I said, “Yes, it is an inherent challenge for females” and so let’s take a look our landing. So I filmed it from the front and the side and I had to jump off at 12 feet step and rebound into the air and now here’s what I call the “Landing Aero Scoring System.” You can look that up online. It’s 12-point analysis.

The problem is you can’t do that analysis of no matter slow motion video as you can’t see what you need to see. Long story short, and you guys are feeling and some people but you can really it in the video. She’s landing 1 foot floor and then before the other and those are for news. They’re coming together and then go and back out really fast.

So if you don’t look for it, you don’t see it. So I show mom and dad that video and they’re like, “My God, I get it.” I’m like, “Right.” If we let your daughter just go where she is right now and walk into 3-hour volleyball practices which is what you’re talking about what do you think is going to happen? And what we got here was a train wreck.

The good news is it’s really simple to fix that. We just have to have time with her to be able to do the strength and stability work. She needs to be able to squat. She needs to be able to lunge properly and then you do work with those things. And as we all, today’s time people we’re getting are clients but they’re not ready to do those things. So if they can’t do them on a static or on slow fashion, that’s going to happen when we throw them into environment in sport where this would happen rapidly. We’re going to do a lot of ACL’s as an example and particular females are even more prone to that.

So the ability to analyze that and it connects with running is no sport is running dominant. Like I said, you have the first deck or to analyze the person and to be able to get you out and articulate them. They didn’t see it, they get it. They get it whether “Wait a minute. I’m going to do something about that.” Well, that looks like [32:48] and it’s really easy to show someone what this do. Then of course you have to know “What do I need to do in terms of programming in order to fix this problem?” It’s not one problem usually. Its mobility, its strength, its endurance, it’s all these things.

Running, squatting, lunging, these are primary movement pattern and there’s squat plate tools and programming out there from functional movements cleaning others to do with things like squatting and lunging. What is not good now and very few trainers know how to do is to analyze and coach running mechanics and effective and I tell all people, “Take a look at the post up online. There are tons of phenomenal, free steps online that Ubersense app, on the posts, TV, on the web, it only walks you through how to do this as trainer and exactly had to build a program.”

I think it’s a big opportunity for us because too often what we’re doing with runners is we’re saying “We make this function but they know how to run.” And it’s not true. With every other sports we kind of get that every people need to work on the scale. But some of that with running we just can’t. If that person just runs more they’ll get better and you don’t get better. What you’re doing is more of what got you hurt in the first place.

You develop a neuromuscular one and you won’t come out of that without specific exercises to move you in the other direction and that’s a big opportunity for trainers because there are just millions of runners and they’re all getting hurt every year and so this is a real opportunity for us to step-in from strength and conditioning and coaching fashion to prevent that from happening so people can enjoy what I considerable guide giving birth to that which is enabling you to run without pain.

Doug Holt: I can’t agree with you more. I think everything you said is fantastic and we’re going to put the links in the show notes for all the people listening so they can easily access those. You gave us a ton of information. Real quick again, I agree with everything you’re saying.

One of the things I do, some remote online coaching. I work with a lot of executive and some of them are a little bit in their older years in their 60s and some actually in their 70s that are still extremely active. And something that I’ve noticed from several of them and then I’ve taken on new clients is the new Hoka Shoe that’s out there. It’s kind of more of the opposite of the minimal issue, more of a maximum cushioning running shoe and I like to hear your thoughts on that and I can tell you kind of what feedback that I’ve gotten from these people who’ve been active their whole lives who said that this is the only shoe that allowed them to prevent damaging their knees really as what they told me.

Greg Maurer: I think this a great question and the timing is good here. So when everything in your body works right, when you have habituated skillful running and you’ve given the joint structures and tendons gradually built up [35:46] stress on them; running on a barefoot shoes is a great thing. How many people have done that? And the answer is almost nobody. So we have to deal with people.

So if someone says “I want to run today. The way I am.” You’re not going to change the way I run for 6 to 12 weeks. It’s just not. Normally, those patterns do not change at the drop of a hat. Particularly once that have been built up over the course of a lifetime. So a lot of people don’t want to go through this stuff. They’re like, “No, I don’t want to do that. I just want to run.” And there, most people are obliged to strikers.

So if we take that on phase value and say “This is where the person is coming from.” Taking them in a barefoot shoe, it’s the recipe for disaster. And so the shoes you’re talking about, I don’t know the shoe but if we take what I said as that’s what we’re dealing with, it’s a much better idea to put them in that. You have to be realistic with your clients and understand who they are and you have to help them in this and you can’t separate the physiology from the psychology.

So if you’ve got a runner that’s been running for 20 years and they come to you because of injury, you’ve got to work with them in terms of their willingness to change. Our job is to get people to change habits and it’s not easy. One of the primary challenges is your mindset and you can’t force someone to change their mindset. You’ve got to get, “They’ve got to change their minds.”

So they can’t slam down. So the thing is if the person tells me he really works for me and I know what I’m dealing with and most people have not done the necessary preparation or skill work to run skillfully. I’m going to say that’s probably a really good choice to use a shoe like that. If we can longer term we have to understand something though. The foot is designed with thousands of nerves and foot receptors, why? Because it’s the key and there are two reflexes.

I’ll give you one, the cross-potential reflex. This reflex is so important with human movement. It’s unbelievable. The thicker the shoe the less you get it. That’s a fact. It’s just like if I take someone then I have a work on dependent movement on modalities. So a bike is a dependent modality. Many are ripped goes dependent meaning if the push the left foot, the right foot moves. And I’m not saying these things are bad because they absolutely are not bad. But the use of those products getting my connection to my foot to the ground and they’re getting this reflex. So you say, “Why should I care?”

Well, I can tell you that you tripled your risk of an ankle spin and in basketball if that reflex isn’t heightened and that reflex is not going to heightened with big balloons on your feet. It’s just not. So this comes down to understanding the physiology of your body but also understanding where are people in their journey. We’re not perfect. I am not perfect.

So you’re not really you want to be. And if someone says they want to run and they’re going to run right now, I am absolutely going to move more in the direction of the shoes that I mentioned. That would be my take on what I mentioned and I am not familiar with the shoe that you mentioned.

Doug Holt: Perfect. I’ll put that in the show, it’s just, it looks like someone is actually going on an elevated shoe. I have never warned them but people have had had knee issues swear by me. I’m hearing them but I’m coming up more and more and getting more questions. So my take was very similar to yours and also taking out the shoes also absorbing some of that joint impact for them that they’ve lost to do. Years of years are just overused and damaged over time.

Greg Maurer: It’s like a sproing trainer and everyone can pick on the notes. One of the companies I work with is Sproing Fitness. They have a running machine where you’re tethered from the back and you’re running on an air surface and you can control the firmness. It does two things. One, it allows you to fall. Running is a series of fall. You fall, recover, fall, recover. In fact, you cannot move across the ground as a human being without falling.

A fall is moving your center of gravity passed your base of support. So you can move your leg, you can move your arm, you can move your arms in the legs until your center of gravity moves behind your base of support. You don’t move, that is a fall. You’re using gravity to fall for them, catch yourself and when you catch yourself, you’re doing it again. That’s a long story short about running and human movement.

So a treadmill, when the belt is moving towards you, you can’t fall. So you stand straight upright. So who cares? And you do that because the belt is moving underneath. That’s not at all what happens in locomotion, exactly the opposite. You move over ground, the ground doesn’t move under you. So it may look like it’s a good duplication, it’s a horrible duplication and then air wraps the proper functioning of the neuro-muscular system in running because is about falling. You have to fall to run. You have to fall, it’s not an option. But if you think about the physics, you’ll realized that what [40:51] is just the way it is.

So when you’re on a treadmill, the belt is moving towards you. You reach in front of your body, 99 out of 100 times, you’re going to land on your heel because you’re trying to decelerate the belt. If you fall on each other, you’re going to fall on your face. So you watch people, stand at the side that be stuck up right and then leave with your foot. There is no one in the world who would disagree that he is working is not enough until the way he run. You’re decelerating. So you’re the person through the use of that modality bad hat, that’s a fact.

Now, if all the person’s is ever going to do is run on a treadmill, no good. A lot of people will never run. So if they’re happy on that treadmill that burn their calories, the cardiovascular system, there’s more curtseying than outside, “Hey, if you’re happy doing that, that’s great. And a little bit of treadmill running certainly not going to hurt someone.” You’ll never see a world class runner on a treadmill for any like of the time, nothing.

Now, I’m sproiring you’re tethering from the rear. If you tethered it from the rear when you’re running, so what’s happening is now you can fall. I can keep the body as a unit. The body should never reflex at the hip when you’re running, so it should be straight to have on, not rigid but straight. It allows you to fall forward because your tethered from behind. So when you do that, Doug, automatically landing on the [42:14]. There is no over striving, there is no hill striking. It’s a cushioned surface.

So there’s a 75 percent less impact in running outside and 50 percent less than the lowest impact treadmill which is a woodblock. So is that a good thing? It’s a great thing. Because people who have our banged up and there are millions of them out there including yours truly, I’m going that machine and I can run really hard. Really hard, with no joint pain because it’s so much more cushioned and it’s automatically reinforcing techniques that are going to help me in actual running instead of hurting my performance.

And one of the things about it is because you don’t have the bulk speeding up and slowing down, if you do intervals on a treadmill, it’s probably one of the most dangerous activities you can do with client. In other words, if you push me into an interval, let’s say, I’m running 12 miles an hour which is actually called easy-to-do for a short interval, for me or anyone else listening. Then at the end of the long time, what will have to happen? I have to wait for belt to slowdown or I have to jump off it and then when I am going slow, I have to wait for to speed up.

On the spoiring, the acceleration and the deceleration are completely controlled by the person, there are no falls. It doesn’t have happen. It simply doesn’t happen, so it’s a way better tool to plain running and as we look at the website, they’ll see like loud, this is a real great way to train people. It requires a trainer who understands what I’m talking about but assuming you have someone who does that, let’s say, way better tool for a trainer to interact with a client. You’ve seen a client on a treadmill, they’re going to look at you though, “I can do this myself.” And something like a spoiring, you can really work on mechanics and you can do sprints and things that in a way that you can’t do a treadmill.

So just kind of like to shoo you on what we’re talking about, there’s lots of tools out there and to me, you want to fill two box. You want to understand how to use as many of those things and one of them are magic by themselves but your ability to pick up the weight tool for the person at the right time and use it in a way is a good part of being an effective trainer which is why education is so important and constantly learning about new modalities because I think it’s part of our responsibility as trainers to pick it on to do that.

Doug Holt: I couldn’t agree more. I think the education is key. I’ve never actually used the spoiring. I would love to get a chance to try one out. At my facility, we use the band. The typical, the band around, the waist of a client having running with that but this looks like a fantastic machine. I’m definitely going to have to try it.

We’re getting over time and I’m laughing because you and I talked about this offline already that I had a feeling that you and I were going to go overtime today. Thank you for all your time. Last question I have for you, somebody is listening to this right now and obviously, their mind is blowing, “I should go back, read the show notes and listen to this one more time” because you’re giving so many great nuggets of information out there.

If someone is newer to the industry, they’re newer or they’re ready to take that big step and their ready to shine and really help a lot of people, what advice would they give them? Where should they start? What’s the next step?

Greg Maurer: They’ve got to get training and education. There’s a number of crate organization that I’m sure you can point out to them; NASM, AFAA, ACE, NSCA, there are many others as well that are accredited training organizations. So it’s on a dozen education background or degree. You’ve got to take care of that very quickly.

The other thing is you’ve got to gain experience in the real environment and if that means doing an internship for a time period and so the sooner you jump into that the better off. Because if you ask someone for a job they got to think about it before they say yes. If you say “I want to do an internship. I’ve never been to quality fitness.” That will not will hire you on the spot. Now that sounds funny because you’re not being hired. But the longer you delay getting experience in the real world, the longer you delay your ability to drive income because no one is going to hire you unless you know what you’re doing and how can you possibly know what you’re doing if you’ve never worked within the environment that you want to work in.

So those would be the two most important big picture things I think that you need to do and then they need to make a commitment to the fact that if you want to make this profession, you’re going to be learning every day and all the time and that you got to love that. If you don’t love that, probably not a good field to go into.

Doug Holt: Absolutely. I’ve run a 200 hour advanced. I call it apprenticeship program at my facility where we have people come in. That’s 200 hours minimum require. Most people take a lot more to finish the program. More advanced all the way. Accept anybody. For example, our only requirement is integrity and passion. Those two things. Other than that, we can teach anybody anatomy, physiology, each those.

Greg Maurer: Awesome. You see there’s a perfect start and then as you know Doug, if someone comes to you what’s going to happen is, if you really apply yourself if it was an in because this is just the way I approach things, I jump in. I’d come to you and I’d say “Doug, I want to do this and I want to work here 40 hours a week or 5 weeks.” If I really sit down and say “I want to do this.” I’m not playing around. What am I going to know after this 200 hours? I’m going to totally know if I like this field and I’m probably at the end of the 200 hours if I’ve done a good job you know what you might say? “Hey, Greg. I want to hire you.” So that’s 5 weeks. I see trainers all the time trying to get a job and I’ve hired hundreds of them. You probably have them. I always do the same thing, what experience do you have? Because now nobody wants to hire someone with no experience. It’s just the way it works. I think doing something like your internship program is the ideal first step.

Doug Holt: And I couldn’t agree, that’s why we started it. I did internship way back when I first started because they required it for me in college but it was one of the best experiences I ever had and opened my eyes to a field I didn’t actually originally I planned going into and here I am 20 years later. Last question before I let you go. You’ve been so gracious with your time. What is the book right now that you’d recommend a trainer book picking up? Would they go Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the local bookstore? Give me one book.

Greg Maurer: One book. There’s a new book, I’m going to pull it up on my kindle as we speak here because I want to give you the right title that I’m reading. It was written by some other folks at PTA Global.

Doug Holt: It doesn’t have to be fitness related. It could be whatever you think is for you.

Greg Maurer: This book is really special so just give me one second here and I’ll give you the title. It’s called Client Centered Training: A Trainer and Coaches Guide to Motivation by Dr. Roy Sugarman and it’s an amazing book because it’s talking about a part of it that a lot of us including myself really need to continue to work on which is the psychology and sociology of training and it’s not a bunch of blabber. He teaches you the best science but then he gives you a system that any trainer can employ on how to manage that person in terms of your emotional expectation because emotions are what motivate us all. That would be the book I’d recommend.

Doug Holt: I haven’t read that book so that’s going to be on my list as well. Greg, thank you again so much and if someone has a question for you and they want to reach out to you, what’s the best place? E-mail? Social media? What’s best for you?

Greg Maurer: E-mail or call. I think you have both of those. Either one is fine. I will respond any e-mail. They can find me on LinkedIn very easily. There’s a lot of presentations on there that are truly and I love people to have and interact with trainers all over the world and I consider it an honorable profession and I love the opportunity to work with trainers and I learned from every trainer I work even when I teaching them, I end up learning something too. So it’s such a good deal for all.

Doug Holt: Greg, thanks again for being with us today. I really appreciate it. I love to have you on again.

Greg Maurer: Thank you, sir. Bye-bye.

Doug Holt: All right. I want to thank Greg again for taking the time out to be on the show with us and to share his knowledge and wisdom. Greg almost has 3 decades of experience in the fitness industry. That’s hard to come by. So thank you again Greg, and thank you listeners, and thank you for all of you that have left feedback in iTunes as well as who sent e-mails of encouragement to us. It really means a lot. If you haven’t already please jump on over to iTunes and leave us a 5 star review if you think we deserve it. We are trying to get better each and every time and hopefully we’re delivering you the content you’re looking for.

Also, we’d love for you to go over to our Facebook page and continue the conversation with other Fitness Professionals like yourself. We’re all here to grow the industry together and that starts with you. From all of us at Fitness Professional Online, I am Doug Holt and you have a happy and healthy week.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to the Fitness Professional Online Radio Show. You can share your thoughts and join the discussion on this episode by going through our website or on Let us know what you’d like to hear on future shows and please feel free to contact us via e-mail or give us a call at (805) 500-6893. We look forward to hearing from you.

Links and Resources from this episode:

Training & Fitness Education Websites:


Fitness Apps:

Coach’s Eye

Running Shoes:

Hoka Shoe


Client Centered Training: A Trainer and Coaches Guide to Motivation by Dr. Roy Sugarman


Linkedin or Email

FPO Crew

FPO Crew

The FPO Crew is made up of a number of skilled, fit, intelligent, and beautiful people who love overall wellness as well as helping people. Everyone in The FPO Crew has a true passion for working with Fitness Professionals all around the world to help grow the industry and thus help more people on a larger scale.
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