Luke Tulloch joins the show today to discuss his background & education, the online training environment, the human component of training, how to deliver a great service, onboarding, client management, and the need to establish foundational knowledge in our industry.
Luke obtained a degree in neuroscience while training clients and has continued to do so ever since. With 13 years experience, he primarily trains clients and provides education on-line. Luke has always been more academic based about his training and finds interest in the why behind all things training. Over time, Luke built his knowledge base and was coaching other trainers, so he decided to move his content into an education platform. Both James and Luke find a lot of value in a formal science based education in a non-exercise science field in order to apply concepts objectively when it comes to training.
Since Luke has been in the on-line training realm since before it was popular, we dive into what he sees for the future of the space. As the pandemic has forced trainers to go on-line, Luke believes a lot of these trainers will go to a hybrid model of on-line and in-person clients as they now have the correct systems in place to operate properly. However, there are still aspects of in-person training that can’t be replaced and you may see a demand for quality in-person sessions as people begin to recognize they are missing out on some of the social aspects of being in a gym.
To this point, Luke discusses why you don’t need a ton of followers on social media to have a very successful coaching business and gives several examples of people doing just that. The ability to connect with your clients, deliver a great service, and be “the coach” in your community is what will likely be the main determining factors of whether you’re successful or not. This applies to your online presence as well - having 1,000 “raving fans” that you provide value to will always be better than having a bunch of followers that aren’t engaged. Luke mentions how it is not always what you deliver, but rather how you deliver it and communicate it with people.
Next we get into who Luke works with in his own coaching business and what that looks like. While many people in the industry are focused on specializing, Luke’s client base is all across the board. He has found that contrary to popular belief, oftentimes competitive athletes have similar needs to general population and despite the differences in his clientele, his approach isn’t too dissimilar. Luke looks to provide the why behind what they’re doing and how it can be implemented into their lives with less friction. People often are seeking a coach because they feel like they lack control and need direction and objectives. With this in mind, he is trying to move clients to a point where they actually don’t need him anymore and become autonomous with their actions. Luke believes to reach this point, there needs to be self reflection on the client’s behalf, and enough support on his end to give them confidence in what they’re doing and enough space to recognize what they’re doing well.
Next we discuss Luke’s onboarding process for new clients, which is outrageously simple and effective. He takes some information to begin, including client history, what works for them, what doesn’t work for them, and then he just jumps right in and gets started. Luke believes that just starting is the most important part, and allows the process to unfold based upon effective communication between him and the client. The first few weeks are more of an orientation and he sets that expectation right from the beginning. In talking about his check-in process, Luke uses weekly check-ins and video to give feedback to not only increase his efficiency, but has found that it’s more personable for the client.
In addition to Luke’s training business, he also puts out content for other trainers. This includes a lot of foundational knowledge in biology, chemistry, and physics. These topics are commonly lacking for trainers while they are extremely important for understanding exercise. Luke believes that in order to understand principles, you need to know the fundamentals first. This will allow you to discern information and be able to make better decisions for yourself in terms of programming and exercise selection. Above all, Luke emphasizes that at the end of the day you need to remember your objective as a coach and don’t overcomplicate just for the sake of doing so.
We then dive into what Luke has been interested in lately and what rabbit hole he has found himself going down. For him, the psychology of behavior change and its impact on training is fascinating and has led him down the path of general self improvement. While not a fan of the typical “self help” book, he does like the idea of helping people be better people. Training and nutrition, in his mind, can be the low hanging fruit to help people feel better, but making people better beyond this point can be challenging. This is where Luke is looking into things like learning an instrument or self reflection to improve both fitness and your life. Most adults are so fixed in their ways that new stimuli are extremely important for continually challenging and working their brain. Get out of your box and try new things in order to level up your human experience.
Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.