Fitness Professional OnlineFitness Professional Online Show : 025 – Karsten Jensen

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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 the Fitness Professional Online Show. I am your host, Doug Holt and we’ve made it to Episode 25. It’s kind of hard to believe that we’ve done 25 episodes already. You’ve already seen the new Fitness Professional Online website, love to get your feedback on that.

I got a great guest for you today. Someone we’ve had on the show before and got tons of feedback. We have Karsten Jensen on. Karsten is the man when it comes to periodization and I’ll give you a little bit more about his background here in a second but this is definitely a show that you’re going to want to grab a pen and paper and take some notes.

Of course, if you’re out working out or going for a jog or in the car, we’ll always have the show notes for you. We do that for you just to make it easier. As a reminder, we’re coming into 2015 in fact, it’s just around the corner. We are accepting applications for our 2015 mastermind group so you want to get that to us right away. If you have any questions, go ahead and just shoot us an email, and we can get all that information to you.

This is definitely something you’re going to want to be and part of. If you’re planning on growing your business or your personal development in 2015, this is a must-do. Also, for our Facebook fans, something you might have noticed is we’re starting to post every Monday, “How can we help you?” or “How can I help you?” is better said.

What I’m looking to do is help somebody every week. Each week, take one person and help them out with either something in their personal or professional lives, just to a way to give back to the community, give back to the fitness professionals like yourselves or others because somebody has done that for me along my journey. I’ve been in the industry for almost 20 years and there’s always somebody that’s been willing to give me a helping hand and now, it’s my turn to give back and I love to do that. So go over to our Facebook page, check that out. If you have any questions, I’m always here for you.

So without further ado, let’s go ahead and get into the call with Karsten. Karsten has helped world class and Olympic athletes from 26 different sports for over 20 years. Many of his athletes have won Olympic medals, European Championships and ATP Tournaments.

Karsten is the first strength coach to create a complete system of periodization, the Flexible Periodization Model, the first complete method of periodization dedicated to holistic, individualized and periodicized, HIP Training Programs.

Karsten shares all aspects of the flexible periodization method with his fellow strength coaches and personal trainers through the flexible periodization method workshops series level 1 to 3. Personal note: I have read some of Karsten’s work and it is phenomenal. So you definitely want to go out and check Karsten out. Without further adieu though, let’s jump-in to the call with Karsten.

Karsten, thank you so much for being on the show today, I really appreciate you taking that time.

Karsten Jensen: You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.

Doug Holt: What’s been awhile since we talked and I know you’ve got your hands in a lot of plates here nowadays, there are a lot of things going on. Let our listeners know kind of what you’re up to these days.

Karsten Jensen: We are preparing the 2015 seminar schedule, that’s the last main thing we’re doing which is going to include the 23 days of teaching children with periodization and the flexible periodization being the absolute keyword. One reason that it has expanded is that we have learned from feedback and doing the seminars that the word too much information are in some of the current seminars. So for example, I thought a 2-day seminar in the weekend, that’s going to be 6 days of teaching from next year.

Doug Holt: Wow. You’re cramming a lot in then?

Karsten Jensen: Too much to be honest with you. Yeah, too much.

Doug Holt: Well, I guess that’s better. If I’m going to a seminar I’d rather get too much than not enough.

Karsten Jensen: That’s right. It’s still going to be plenty. What I have experienced is that the trainers are overwhelmed. Their eyes get that blank stare, they verbalized that they are overwhelmed that there’s a lot of information. Some of the other workshops we have, we’ve limited the content and we work in more detail with the content there is. And so, while we have the workshops, we take trainers to a point where they can actually work with their directly and we get the feedback. They appreciate that more.

Doug Holt: Absolutely. You gain a feedback from the trainer is got to be key because you’re tailoring it. When I seen your offerings, you have so much information to share that I’d imagined even 6 days would feel like not enough to tap your brain.

Karsten Jensen: In a way, we have a lot of information we’re very detailed with things as well. So 6 days alone is not enough. You know with the 21 days with where we’re approaching, we have good time to share we seen that we have.

Doug Holt: Okay, fantastic. I’d tried jumped ahead. There may actually be a couple of people who don’t know a ton about you. Give me the 2-minute rundown of maybe a little bit more but how did you get to where all the success you have today? Where did you start and how did you get here?

Karsten Jensen: I was a tennis player when I was a teenager. I started studying Exercise Physiology when I was on my early 20s and in the second year, I got interested in Strength and Conditioning. Right after I’ve graduated from university, I got hired by the Danish Sports Institution to create individualized training programs for at range who are young and seasoned Olympic and world class athletes. I worked there from 2007.

2007, I came to Canada. Since I came to Canada, I have merely been teaching other trainers through our workshops with periodization being the keyword, worked a little bit with athletes from time-to-time, sometimes also fitness clients. So this year, I worked with the CFL player in Canadian Football League and the national level growth here in Canada.

Doug Holt: Wow. So you had quite a journey along the way.

Karsten Jensen: A great journey along the way, very fortunate.

Doug Holt: What part of Canada you’re in?

Karsten Jensen: At Toronto. So that’s the province called Southern Ontario. That’s a little snip where Canada goes out which we probably have the best whether in the entire Canada. It’s quite off in wind there. It’s like a huge snow storm somewhere else in Canada, we’re just fine here.

Doug Holt: Excellent. It’s always a good thing.

Karsten Jensen: Yes, it is a good thing.

Doug Holt: Karsten, you’ve had a lot of obviously anybody that’s been a professional for as long as you’ve been in the industry, you just think counter setbacks. That’s just the natural occurrence of things. What I look at is a natural sign of greatness. You have to have setbacks to move forward. To people listening, especially those people might have a setback they’re going through now tell us about one of your setbacks that you actually turned into success.

Karsten Jensen: To be honest with you, I don’t have any setbacks. I had those big transitions when I came to Canada. Big transitions in the sense that I feel and I had the best strength coach position in Denmark because I was full-time in the equivalent of I’m not sure what it’s called in the States. In Canada, it’s called “Sport Canada”. A lot of my colleagues at that time, they had worked for the institution since they started which was played 25 years at that time.

By a few day they retired, I am still working for the institution. All of my education was paid for. If I wanted any equipment, I had a bunch for equipment so that was a very, very good position. I was the one responsible for training athletes so I had a lot of time working with all the athletes.

Before I came to Canada, I knew a year before I was going to be here and knew that I wanted to do something initially internet-based. It was my plan to work for another gym or facility while writing and teaching and having our own company, Yes To Strength which we have. I think of it more as a challenge than a setback and I think that maybe the main thing I learned from it so to speak is to tune into what I really wanted to do, what I was really passionate about doing and what I was really supposed to do which is focusing on the things and a lot of ideas that I feel like sharing.

Doug Holt: You’re a fantastic teacher. You have so much knowledge and you’re just a natural-born educator I feel.

Karsten Jensen: Thank you.

Doug Holt: And you’ve really put yourself out there on the internet with writing articles and donating a lot of your time to help other professionals.

Karsten Jensen: Thank you. I tried always for setbacks that I look for the different sayings like “Where is the lemonade and the lemon?” “How can I turn this into a bigger advantage?” “What can I learn from this?” I sometimes ask question also, “What belief would make this a great thing?”

So for example, I can share a more of a personal episode. My mother died early 2013 and rather than thinking that I miss her a lot, but rather than thinking you know feeling that it was so unfair which she was only 68. I’m trying to learn from it. How can this make me a strong person? How could this make our family a stronger person? So I don’t want to let anything bring me down so to speak. There’s always opportunity in any type of adversity.

Doug Holt: I agree, 100 percent. Wow! Just to pull out the nuggets from that, it’s amazing. And you and I talked about this last time. We got into a whole conversation about books that you read and I have asked this question to you before but I’ll post it to you again just because I think you have so much not only physical strength but emotional strengths. What books have you read on the last year that really jumped out you that you found to be very influential?

Karsten Jensen: One is called the Power of the Winners by [10:07] Gatter which I learned here by listening to [10:11] Wayne Dior. I’m saying a little bit of a hesitant because I don’t think that could be your first book on the topic, he talks about the law of assumption. In listening a lot to Wayne Dior, I think he’s phenomenal, particularly live, he’s phenomenal. He talks a lot about the I Am Presence. Are you familiar with that overall?

Doug Holt: I am. I read one of Wayne Dior myself.

Karsten Jensen: You’ve already read a lot of Wayne Dior. I think probably becoming comfortable with the I Am Presence and learning what it means and learning to work with it. It should be the core of personal development.

Doug Holt: For those that haven’t had a chance, can you give us a two-minute rundown? I know it’s impossible.

Karsten Jensen: I don’t like to make it religious for me. Spirituality is not any particular religion but I think it begins a sentence from Naval’s book for example where he talks about that you can forget who you are, where you are but you could never forget that I Am. So I Am is your awareness of being. You can close your eyes and you can be quite and you can have the silent awareness that I Am and whatever comes behind comes after that, that’s who you are. And you can never be something that is not in your I Am Presence, that’s literally the idea.
[11:40] talked about that pretty well too that anything you experience in consciousness, so if you can’t have something in your consciousness, it can be a part of your world. And in many cases, it’s all processes you literally bring into your consciousness before you see it in what you really called the physical world but what really is consciousness as well.

Doug Holt: I think we may have talked about this before. I’m sorry my memory is escaping me.

Karsten Jensen: Yeah, probably.

Doug Holt: There’s a book I Am That which I am very familiar with to which is written by a Buddhist philosopher from Vietnam. Ironically, I got that book from I want to say, I don’t think it was Jack Canfield but it was a CEO of a Fortune 100 company here in the States that recommended what the most influential book on his business life and was nothing to do with business as well, so you’re along that same journey to them. So it’s always interesting to hear what great people like yourself reading.

Karsten Jensen: Now, one pops up that’s a little more there, its fitness related and it’s The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein which is about the strong man that have the stage name called the “Mighty Adam”. The reason I was interested in that is that he was known for doing the feeds for his mind. So he was very, very interested in the use of the mind for strengths and there was a long range of great, great recommendations for using the mind for strength in that book although then it’s created by a guy called Ed Spielman who met Joseph Greenstein was in his 80s and Spielman, he writes in a book that he felt that Greenstein wanted to tell him his life story because he realized that he was towards his later years and if he didn’t tell it to anyone. Because of what all he say, it’s not everything was you can say like written down or documented in the same way it is these days but everything he’d gone could have been forgotten.

Greenstein taught a guy Slim Fireman who was very well-known for lifting, so lifting really hairy hammers and Slim Fireman has thought a guy called Dennis Rogers, a very famous strong man. Dennis Rogers, he’s not teaching a long range of strong man. So it’s kind of a lineage for how to deal with strength that goes back to the Adam and in that book, he talks about who he learned from. I would say even though if you don’t want all of it, it’s a phenomenal leap.

Doug Holt: Well I think those guys had so much in the trenches knowledge that science is still trying to catch up with. It’s amazing whenever you get a chance to meet one of them and I’ve had the pleasure of doing so. Holy cow, they know so much and then it seems like science is just trying to catch up to what things that they’ve done.

Karsten Jensen: Yes. At the same time, I read a book called Supernormal written by Dean Radin from Institute of Noetic Sciences which is in California. He’s the scientist, so he was reviewing a science on for example time reversal. And some of the things that Adam talked about kind of involved time reversal.

So for example, he learned from his mentor that before you start a moment, you should know that it’s already gone like a bullet fire from a gun. Not essentially as time reversal, something that he has not just been able to prove. Although Supernormal was about looking at the research behind it, the Yoki powers and most of them keep finds in research and are astounding to become proven.

Doug Holt: It’s absolutely fascinating. And something Karsten I see as a trend is I get a chance to talk to people like yourself is everybody like yourself or avid readers outside of just their one discipline to expand upon their knowledge base and it’s absolutely fascinating. I want to know when the Karsten Jensen book club is coming out so I had to sign-up.

And so with your journey and it has been fun for me to follow and see you grow and you’ve always been such constant professional giving back. We get so many emails from younger strength coaches or athletes or fitness professionals around the world. What’s the next step? How do I break-in? How do I get from that barrier of just having a job as a personal trainer or as a strength coach? If someone was in front of you right now and you had the opportunity to give them a little bit of your wisdom, what would you suggest they start with on how to go out in their own and start throwing fitness business and really expand?

Karsten Jensen: That’s a difficult question, the things that pops to my mind is to be your own hardest critic and put hide the man of yourself than anybody around you. I’ve always done that not on purpose but what it did particularly when I was working for the Danish Institute, it meant that I never had anybody on my back because I always stick more than what’s expected at me. And right now, I think one of the best things to do is to constantly try to get better.

Doug Holt: Yeah.

Karsten Jensen: Other than that, obviously, you need to have something to share one way or another. We’re quite lucky in the sense that I don’t have a brick and mortar business, meaning that I don’t have any huge overhead where it makes things much less stressful compared if I had an actual gym. But there are a lot of things to be learned if you want to have an actual gym. And kind of an interesting thing, if you want to have an actual gym, what’s the show called? “Kitchen Nightmares” with Gordon Ramsay. Are you familiar with that?

Doug Holt: I am. Yes.

Karsten Jensen: There are really a lot of good tips if someone wants to start their own fitness business. It pretty talk about that, he will look at the whole city and then he will see what’s not there and then he will cater that restaurant. For example he says, “There is no Indian food here. This is what you should setup” and there’s a lot of other tips in that show.

Doug Holt: I agree. I do in a brick and mortar gym, a private studio I have for a long time and between that show, restaurant impossible, you know, the profit, all these shows about business it’s also true. And as a fitness professional going into a business, you really become a businessman or businesswoman whatever the case maybe and that’s a whole another profession itself. You might probably have read the E-Myth as well?

Doug Holt: Yeah, multiple times. I probably need to read it again.

Karsten Jensen: I initially saw that for someone who might not read it, I initially thought that “E” was for “electronical” something about the internet being easier or something like that. But “E” is for “entrepreneurial”. The entrepreneur, it’s because I like exercise thing and I’m a good trainer. I can also be good at running my own fitness studio, that’s the “myth”. And as you probably know, that requires a whole different skillset.

Doug Holt: Absolutely. And a whole different set of passions. He pitches over the head within the book in a great way. First of all, the book is a solid business book and I know a lot of business coaches, that’s the first thing they give to a business they start working with whether it’s a Fortune 500 business or a mom and pop business, they all get a copy of Michael Gerber’s E-Myth.

But one of the things that I really love that he does is system. And if you’re going to run a business, whether you’re running a solo-preneur, a business of one or you’re running a major company. If you want, you always want to be putting out the same fires over-and-over again, develop systems around those things so you can expand. Even if you don’t plan on selling or growing to a large corporation, but you can take those things and give you some more freedom.

My team in fact, I run an internet marketing business as well where we help fitness professionals market their businesses on social media and websites and that’s all my team is doing this week is honing our systems because we’re growing so quickly that they’re always doing it. And I got that just from the E-Myth and I haven’t read it in a number of years. So that’s probably the book that gets recommended the most on the show.

Karsten Jensen: Okay.

Doug Holt: It’s a fantastic read.

Karsten Jensen: Well, tell me a little bit more about your seminars. I know you’re planning to schedule for 2015. If someone is interested in going, how do they get involved?

They go to our website called Yes To Strength, and they look at the dropdown menu where it says “seminars” and they will see pictures of all the covers of the manuals and then I think they play pictures to get you a short but accurate and fulfilling description of the seminars. And if someone has any questions after reading it, that’s an invitation to call or email me. That’s what it is. And the keyword, the core of it all is the flexible periodization method. It’s either directly about periodization or it relates to periodization.

Things for periodization method is that unified method periodization to create where we recently realize as the acronym of HIP Training Programs, Holistic-Individualized-Periodized training programs one way or the other. We have a breathing course but breathing essentially is techniques to make your periodized program more effective. We have bodyweight training course which is a course that teaches a tool of bodyweight training within the realm of periodization. So it’s periodization one way or the other that’s the keyword. Does that make sense?

Doug Holt: It makes complete sense. I love how accessible you make yourself. There are so many people with email being over burden that just don’t give out their contact information but for those of you listening right now, of course, we’ll have all these links in the show notes but go check out Karsten site. If you have questions, he’s offering you a chance to give him a ring, an email and just him questions, you guys all should be attending.

Karsten Jensen: Absolutely. I got the best feedback I ever got from NSMB is on that site and it is, the difference between me and other trainers that put out seminars, I make the attendees think. That’s the absolute best feedback someone could have given me.

Doug Holt: Yeah, absolutely. You’ve leveraged the internet I would say very successfully. What have been some of the tips and some of the things that you found that worked best for you guys?

Karsten Jensen: It’s probably the context knowing people, sharing articles like on the and then lately, we figured it out that it’s important to be known for something specific, that’s why, we have to gradually tuned in to periodization as the keyword. You know everybody who are more or less well-known will say Paul [22:52] is a ball guy, Brad Contreras is a good guy.

So we want that when someone talks about us briefly, we hope that they will recognize the consciousness of the periodization guy. So you’ll have to have that this one word that you’re kind of known for. So for example, I don’t write articles about anything anymore if it’s not related to periodization.

Doug Holt: Fantastic.

Have it like a clear name and a clear profile. And it’s just not directly about periodization, I will tie it into periodization. So basically, to say, find your niche and just go with that niche. Don’t try to be all things to all people.

Karsten Jensen: No. You have to have that niche and I don’t remember if we spoke about that before but I spoke to a trainer about this yesterday. So finally, his niche was a book called Visionary Business by Marc Allen and he talks about figuring out what the less you can do that no one else can do in quite the same way. And that would be one of the key questions in order to guide into your niche and then be very clear on what your passions are and what you feel that you have to share.

Doug Holt: Absolutely. I haven’t read that book. That would be another picking up. You should be getting commissions on these.

Karsten Jensen: We talked a little bit about the spiritual aspect of life. I don’t think we’re not empty and then we have to find out what we’re passionate about. We’re born into this world for a reason with something to give and something to share. So you literally already know your passions. It’s already inside you, you just kind of weed out what’s not important. So anything that you do for other people’s sake, anything you do to be popular or anything you do for other reasons that this is who you really are that needs to be weeded out. And then when you find what you want to do just because you want to do it, that’s what you should go with.

And now, I found that the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a very good reason to figure that out. So we talked to trainers about when they get clients and client states a goal. If that trainer asked, “Why do you want to accomplish that?” and then the client to answers. They will be able to plug their answer into any level of the hierarchy of needs. And you can do that for yourself as well. So whenever anything you consider, you can ask yourself, “Why do you want to do that?” And you can listen really carefully and you want to go with that, “I just want to do it. There’s no reason. This is who I am. I just want to do it.” Get that with people wants to run a marathon, we ask them, “Why do you want a marathon?” “I just always want to run a marathon,” that’s the self-actualization level and that’s where we want to be with things.

Doug Holt: It’s just digging a little deeper.

Karsten Jensen: It get digging a little deeper.

Doug Holt: Absolutely.

Karsten Jensen: And that ties into not being too rushed with things and having time to be quite, to meditate and do a diary of your thoughts. So I have a conversation with myself in a diary. “Is this anything that kind of wraps me the wrong way of trying to have like an internal diary that are written down then figure out why I’ve asked the wrong way and then trying to learn from it.”

Doug Holt: We have a lot of similar habits. And oftentimes, we call it “journaling” here on the states because we feel it sounds more manually.

Karsten Jensen: Okay. That’s a good thing.

Doug Holt: In doing that journaling, oftentimes, you find out the reason that you thought you were upset isn’t the actual real reason you’re upset or confused or whatever else it maybe. There’s actually something underlying in there.

Karsten Jensen: It reminds me something called The Work by Byron Katie. It’s a great, great simple powerful tool to figure out why you think what you think and turn around.

Doug Holt: Absolutely. I love Byron Katies stuffs. She’s fantastic.

Karsten Jensen: Yes.

Doug Holt: Well Karsten, we’re running out of time here. Again I know I keep saying this every time I talk to you, I feel like I can talk to you all day. But I don’t want your wife to get mad at me so I’m going to let you go. But what are some of the ways that people can go ahead and get a hold of you. If somebody wants to get a hold about you, learn a little bit more about you’re up to, where is the best place?

Karsten Jensen: It is through the Yes To Strength website where our contact information and there’s a phone number right on the homepage with which they can call there. So also email contact information. Pretty much all the pages have an email and a button review can reach me.

Doug Holt: Fantastic. Karsten, thanks again. You’re always so gracious with your time.

Karsten Jensen: And maybe you should say also now and along the same lines even though the seminars that are scheduled on the site is on Ontario, we do go other places sometime to teach a seminar. So if someone is interested, that is clearly an opportunity.

Doug Holt: Fantastic. It would be a great opportunity for you to travel too. We’ll see if we can get you one here in Southern California. I’d love to see you.

Karsten Jensen: That would be great. I’d never been to California. I would love to get there someday.

Doug Holt: We’re to figure out a way to make that happen.

Karsten Jensen: We love that.

Doug Holt: Alright, Karsten. Have a great rest to your Monday and take care.

Karsten Jensen: Likewise Doug.

Doug Holt: I don’t know about you but I’m pumped after that call with Karsten. I’m always excited to talk to him. He is a man of many layers, a spiritual professional but always willing to step out and help others. Karsten, thank you again for being on the call. I know many of you have taken a lot of notes. Again, you can go over to and get the show notes for this episode, some great book suggested there. I know I’ll be picking up a couple of those as well.

If you haven’t already, really appreciate you going over to iTunes and giving us a 5-star review if you feel it’s worthy. Hopefully, we’re getting better with each episode. Always send us your feedback because it is taken into consideration over here. In behalf of myself and the rest Fitness Professional Online Team, Erik, Darcy, Carol, RJ really appreciate all the work that you do for us over here. And again, thank you for the feedback, keep it coming.

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.

Link and Resources Mentioned In This Episode:


I Am That
The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein
Visionary Business by Marc Allen
Supernormal written by Dean Radin
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Canadian Football LeagueCanadian Football League
Karsten Jensen’s Website –


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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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