My guest today is Rob Lyon, an experienced fitness industry professional with 17 years of experience in industry who has worn many 'hats' over the years - managing corporate fitness centres, working overseas in the field of cardiology, training and assessing both aspiring personal trainers and professional athletes and delivering 1000s of hours of personal and group training services.
He has contributed to media publications such as AskMen Australia as a regular health and fitness expert, and have been featured in CLEO, ELLE magazine and Lawyers Weekly Publications.
I had a great time interviewing him about what inspired him to pursue a career in fitness industry, his career journey and what he does now and impact he makes in the corporate wellness space, executive performance and helping people with special conditions.
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Vit Muller: [00:00:14] hello everybody. My guest today is Australia's leading corporate wellness educators with 17 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. He is a regular contributor to media publications, such as Ask men Australia, Cleo, Elle magazine, and more.
[00:00:31] Back in 2010, when I was starting my fitness career, he was my teacher and mentor during my diploma in fitness studies. And it's a real privilege to have him on the show today talk about all the great stuff he's been up to in the last 10 years. We had a great chat today about everything that he does, and you'll get to hear many valuable insights learning about effective wellness programs that him and his team do at Lions health, executive performance for both CEOs and CFO levels, as well as his story of overcoming fear of public speaking back in 2000, when he was asked to speak at Olympics opening ceremony, please. Welcome to the show. Rob Lion
Rob Lyon: [00:01:16] Hi, lovely to see you getting made. It has been a while, and I'm really looking forward to having this conversation with you.
Vit Muller: [00:01:23] Great to have you on the show Rob, great to have you on the show. What you've been up to in the last 10 years? We haven't, we haven't chatted for a good couple of years. Have we?
Rob Lyon: [00:01:30] I know. Look, life takes everyone in different directions. No doubt. I'm still, I'm still teaching and educating people coming into the fitness industry, which is still a very much a passion of mine, but I've moved out of Sydney and moved up to the central coast with my young family now.
[00:01:44] So I do a lot of that remotely and online. So I basically built out my business now, which is line health and I focused on three distinct areas in the health and fitness industry. One of them is personal training mainly for clients with medical conditions, because my background is definitely within the special populations and medical condition market.
[00:02:03]I also run a burgeoning sort of corporate health and wellness program where I work closely with a number of our law firms and other businesses within Sydney. Running programs and health consultations and group training sessions and whatnot. And then the third part, like I said, is that fitness education part of my business.
[00:02:19] So it's been great to really sort of build out a business. That's got sort of three distinct arms. I still get to give back to the health and fitness industry as I just turned 37. And I've been doing this for 17 years now. So it has been a while, you know, it's almost time for me to get out of the way and have the youngsters come through.
[00:02:36] But you know, that's still something that I'm really interested in. Interested in and you know, it was great to teach you that I was, we went through the diploma of fitness and you know, anything that you can do to upskill and add value to yourself as a health and fitness professional is really, really important.
Never stop learning, we talk about fitness education
Vit Muller: [00:02:50] Absolutely. It's so important to keep on educating and keep on learning as well. You should never stop learning if you are, if you're listening to this and you're somebody in the fitness industry never stopped that learning process always look and seek more. Look for courses, look for people to speak, to like, like yourself.
[00:03:06]I always remember, you know sitting in the class during the diploma course it was amazing, you know, having you as a teacher and, and talking to us yourself as an experienced also, you know, AP exercise physiologists, you were giving us some really valuable information education around, around that was very specific.
[00:03:25] And yeah, it was really good , it was a great course. I always always reflect back on those studies, right. Great times back then.
Rob Lyon: [00:03:31] Yeah, I think, I think it was really important, you know, when we created that diploma of fitness course at the college, it was to, it was to meet a gap in the health and fitness market for these personal trainers, dealing with clients, with medical conditions.
[00:03:42] And also we spent a whole term talking about injuries as well. So those two areas I think, are vital for a lot of health and fitness professionals to upskill in because it allows you to broaden your client base and allows you to really kind of understand the body at a much deeper level. It's not just sets and reps, but it's really understanding what the most effective exercises are.
[00:04:00]As a sort of a medical intervention, you know, because in exercise science and exercise physiology, which is where my background comes from, we use exercise as a medical intervention. So like a doctor will write a prescription on a pad and they'll say, take these and come back and see me in four weeks time.
[00:04:15] We write prescriptions on pads, they're just exercise programs, you know, and we are, we closely track and monitor. We're looking for health outcomes, such as, you know, reducing reliance on medication improving your activities of daily living, you know, improving overall health and wellness and mood and mental health.
[00:04:30] And so all those things are vital and you know I think it's vital that if you are suffering from health or medical conditions or need a little bit of extra help getting someone that is well qualified in those areas is definitely vital.
Vit Muller: [00:04:41] Absolutely.
Exercise prescription with a more meaningful purpose is more rewarding
[00:04:42] I always remember the specificity. That was the part that I always enjoyed.
[00:04:46] And I'm a, I'm a bit of a technician. And I like, I like things like go in detail when prescribing programs. And I always remember, you know, what you were showing us the sprint drills and, you know, you would. Before that, you know of set three set four, you would just think, okay, sprint, okay, let's run as fast as you can, but then you broke it down and biomechanics level.
[00:05:06] And you know, it was a real structured approach to programming for a sprinter and also programming any other programming. It was like, As if people that we trained with general public as if you train them as an athlete. So it was, I really enjoyed that process. That was really good. So, yeah.
Rob Lyon: [00:05:23] Yeah. Yeah. And I think what's important with that as well. Is that. It really benefits the clients. If you've got someone programming at that level of detail, because if they really understand why each better exercise benefits them specifically and what they're trying to achieve, then they're much more likely to be compliant to the program.
[00:05:41] They're much more likely to stick to it, the muscle, more likely to get more out of it because they're going to. Stay on board with you. And also they really understand I'm doing this, and this is the reason why that's, you know, I sound like a broken record sometimes, but it's all about that sort of features of benefits, language.
[00:05:56] You know, I was a trainer you want to, don't just tell them what they're doing, but tell them why they're doing it and why it's beneficial for them. And as, as trainers, you know, and not to get too much into the weeds, we think that. General people know why all these, what all these exercises are, what, how they benefit you, but you really need to break it down.
[00:06:15] And so your clients can understand ok. I'm doing this for this reason. It's to work this muscle or to improve this health outcome. If you do that, you get much better buy-in and compliance over the length of the program.
Vit Muller: [00:06:25] And more clients as well. Cause you position yourself as a, as a real expert with, and you show that knowledge that you have.
Rob Lyon: [00:06:32] Hundred percent. And like, as my business, you know, I do very little, you know, marketing, very little social media now. I'm, I'm really lucky to be at a point where I have a very strong referral and word of mouth sort of sort of a part of my business and, and it just comes, you know, If you get results in outcomes for one person, especially if they've got a specific medical condition, you end up seeing a lot more people with those same types of conditions, everything from cardiovascular disease, you know, I've got clients that have multiple sclerosis, I've got a client who's completely blind.
[00:07:01] You know, I've got clients who have type one and type two diabetes. And once I started getting results and outcomes for them, then I tend to find more of those types of clients end up coming my way.
Vit Muller: [00:07:11] Now I can't, I can't really resonate to that because I've never trained a client like that. I'm not qualified at that level, but I can, I can assume it must be amazing amazingly rewarding.
[00:07:22]When you, when you help somebody who for example, was blind to be able to have better, better quality of life, right.
Rob Lyon: [00:07:30] Oh, most definitely my, my blind client is fantastic. You know, he's the, he's the CEO of a resources company. He's incredibly busy. He has a photographic memory. But we still train consistently, you know, twice a week, we're doing online sessions.
[00:07:43] I'll see him in person. He'll, he'll literally move his work schedule, his travele, domestic international travel he'll work at around our trading sessions. So for him, our training sessions are a priority. And, you know, as you get a little bit older and you go a bit further into this industry, you know, I don't do a lot of.
[00:08:01] Body composition, make people look good, naked six pack at the beach, chest and biceps. I'm not really into that much anymore to tell you the truth. You know, my, my real real goal. And what really jazzes me is seeing people with those health outcomes. You know, like if I can get someone off high blood pressure medication, if I can read them, have low back pain, if I can make them.
[00:08:21]Functional, you know, in terms of functional movement patterns, like they're the things to me that I think are very important from a longstanding sort of health and vitality perspective. And they're the things that now really motivate me as opposed to, I want to lose five kilos or I want to look good for summer.
Vit Muller: [00:08:37] Absolutely. Absolutely. No, I agree. I mean, there's, there's, there's a lot of great programs for body transformations and there's nothing wrong with having that as a goal. But there needs to be more people that because there is a lot of professionals, fitness professionals do who do focus on that aspect, but like you said, You know, it's, it's, it's also rewarding to help other people that have a real struggle in life and they need to have somebody like yourself to to help them improve their quality of life.
Rob Lyon: [00:09:03] Yeah. Most definitely. Couldn't agree with you more Vit.
Vit Muller: [00:09:05] Now let's wind the clock back abit.
What inspired Rob to pursue a career in fitness industry [00:09:08] When you were starting out, what inspired you to to enter the health and fitness industry?
Rob Lyon: [00:09:15] Well, the health and fitness industry was always a passion of mine. It stemmed mainly from high school and playing sports, I was playing rugby and cricket at, you know, at a semi decent level until a few injuries kind of curtailed my career.
[00:09:27]So I was always interested obviously in the human body, I went to university, went to UTS. A very long time ago in 2002, I did my exercise science degree. And as soon as I got into anatomy and physiology, I remember the first time I learned about the ATP PC system. I'm sure that this rings a bell to you and creatine phosphate and lactic acid and anaerobic glycolysis.
[00:09:47] Like I was hooked, man. I was only in I'm like I was loved. I loved science. Wasn't that great at high school. But as soon as you start talking about the science of the human body, I'm like, man, this is me, I'm all in. You know, and then I was really lucky to to get a job working at the university gym when I was in my third year of university.
[00:10:04] So what was, that was vital for me because I was using everything that I was learning. In real time, straight away. So my health and fitness career really kind of just kicked off from there. I didn't really see myself ever doing anything else. I hate wearing pants, so I get to wear shorts for a living, which is always a good idea.
[00:10:20]And then also, you know, with, with my parents, you know, I've got a bit of a family history of, of some health problems that run in the family. My dad's got epilepsy. He had that ever since he was 18. You know, my, my grandfather died early of Alzheimer's. My uncle passed away a couple of years ago from motor neurone disease.
[00:10:35] We've got a lot of sort of neurodegenerative diseases that run in our family. My mom is having some issues with sort of her legs. She's had knee replacements, circulation problems, overweight, and those sorts of things. So seeing that in my parents as well, really kind of spurred me on to get in the industry.
[00:10:50] So I think it was my sporting background that got me in the industry to begin with, but then it was seeing what I could do and how I could help people with the medical conditions that really push me in towards that sort of spectrum, special populations training category.
Rob talks about his beginning in the industry and overcoming the imposter syndrome
Vit Muller: [00:11:04] What are some of the challenges that you've come acrossas a, as a new exercise physiologist when you were starting out?
Rob Lyon: [00:11:09] Well, the biggest one is I think a lot of people in not just the fitness industry, but in every industry come across and it's the impostor syndrome. It's that, it's that feeling that you're inadequate or perhaps you don't know everything that there is to know. I made a lot of mistakes early on in my fitness career.
[00:11:24] And one of the first mistakes that I always made was pretending that I knew everything. You know, and I think we do that a lot in business and in life because we're just scared of failure. We're scared of being shown out. So if someone had a question about anything, I'd always have an answer, you know, even if I didn't really know the answer, I'd kind of BS myself along the way and I've thrown that out the window now, because as you get older and as you learn more, you obviously realize that there's so much more to note, you know?
[00:11:51] So I think that was a big, a big thing for me, was to try and get over that feeling of imposter syndrome. And you know, It comes with age. It comes with hundreds and hundreds, and I've done thousands of thousands of exercise sessions led now groups and singles and, you know, corporates and all that sort of stuff.
[00:12:07] So it does come with time. It's not something that is a 21 year old. You can just wake up one day and you don't have it anymore. So I think that was one of the biggest sort of hurdles that I had. And then the second one that comes to mind was I moved overseas to America in 2009. And I took up a job in cardiology.
[00:12:23] So obviously I've got a deck, I've got an exercise science background, but I moved straight into a really busy cardiology practice in Phoenix, Arizona, where I was living with my. Girlfriend, who is now my wife. And I signed on as a nuclear medicine technician, which means I was running cardiovascular stress testing on treadmills.
[00:12:39] I was doing sort of a 24 hour telemetry of your heart. And I was having to like, sort of read it, interpret ECGs. And I jumped in there and I thought that I would knew that I would be fine and I'd know everything. And. As soon as I got into the medical field, it was like, again, a completely different language.
[00:12:56] And I remember the first or probably the second day I was there one of the girls who was already there and establish, she gave me a piece of paper that had about 25 different heart rhythms on them. And she's like, if you're going to work here, you need to know all of these. And I knew maybe one, maybe two of them.
[00:13:12] And I remember going home that night and saying to my, my now wife, Tessa, I cried. And I was like, I don't know if I can do this. Like, you know, like I've just been hit with this thing and, and, and here I'm thinking I could just BS my way through this and you know, my whole life I'd been kind of, you know, if I didn't have the answer, I'd find my way through, but now it's like, well, you've got to know it or you don't.
[00:13:32] So I went out that night and I bought myself a little mini ECG pocketbook. Right. And then I kept him in my, it kept it in my scrubs to everywhere. I walked with me. I had this little mini ACG pocketbook and on every single break I had. Every time I was sitting in the car every time I had a spare moment, I was flipping through this book and I was reading these rhythms and I was understanding them and I just blunt force just push my way through it.
[00:13:56] And I got there and then it all clicked and then it all started making sense. So that was, to me, that was a big hurdle that I had to overcome. And that really taught me that, Hey, Sometimes you need to go in and you've got to do the work. You can't just think that you can just stay through and, and smile and, and, and, and, and talk yourself in and around is a problem.
[00:14:16] Sometimes you've got to go in and find that solution.
Vit Muller: [00:14:18] Absolutely. I mean, there's a saying, right. Pressure makes diamonds and being under pressure like you were, I can imagine that we're just had to drive. You know, the brain capacity to all time high.
[00:14:29] That was exactly right, I'll tell
Rob Lyon: [00:14:32] you why there was more pressure because I was on an 83 working visa.
[00:14:35] So if I lost my job, I would have had 10 days to leave the country. So I was on a two year work contract, but if I lost my job. 10 days and you're out of there. So I really had to, it was really as big sink or swim moment for me. And actually one other thing comes to mind with the cardiology cause it's a very interesting, very interesting concept.
[00:14:53] And I built a lot of really effective personal relationships and communication skills through talking to a lot of the doctors there. Now in the particular practice that I worked in, the doctors were seen as like the big head honchos, you know, they were the big important people, you didn't really talk to them unless you were spoken to, if a doctor walked down the corridor halls, you'd have to look busy because, you know, you must be doing something at all times.
[00:15:15] And it was this real kind of separation of, you know, the doctors were up here and all the workers and all the technicians were all down here. And one of the first things that I do is I kind of threw that out the window straight away. I'd hope that I had an Australian accent and I was in an American job, but.
[00:15:30] I just got to look all every single one of these doctors, they're just human beings. You know, they're just the same as me. They've got families at home. I'm sure they work a lot harder than me. They're on call. They're at hospitals late at night. They're doing complex invasive procedures, but at the end of the day, they're just human beings.
[00:15:43] So I actually just started to talk to them more about. Just them as human beings, I'd ask them, Hey, how was your day? So, you know, what'd you get up to on the weekend? Did you see this, or did you do this? Or how about we go catch up for a drink or we go play golf sometime in the next couple of weeks. And you know, I think it took a put, put a lot of the other stuff off side, but.
[00:16:03] All they were getting from the staff was yes, sir. No, sir. No, I haven't done this or yes, I need to do this, but you know, we've got to remember that we're all just human beings. And as soon as I did that, a really, really improve my interpersonal and communication skills. And also it gave me the confidence to realize that we are all humans, everything that I've done from now on and all these executives that I've worked in and the meetings that I go into, these corporate wellness programs I start with where we're all humans let's try and all help each other first.
[00:16:32] And then if we can work a product or a service around that, then that's fantastic.
Vit Muller: [00:16:36] Absolutely. And I, I agree. I mean when you talk about, if we talk about, you know, teamwork and and an a, an, a good teamwork environment, whenever there is too much of an authority and too much ego, or the perception of it, it just breaks, breaks the communication, and it doesn't really flow.
[00:16:54]The workflow doesn't really work between the people. So I definitely agree that You know, taking everybody on an equal level. I mean, there is, there's always a hierarchy that's for sure. But yeah, being able to just be open, to have an open conversation with anybody it's, it's always better for the teamwork.
[00:17:10]I can relate to it from a gym environment for me managing people. And I'll first time when I was back in Sydney, when I was managing a gym, it was a new to me and, and I was. My ego sort of got more off me and and I felt a bit more of a, boss for some reason then. So I did that didn't really work well.
[00:17:30] And I was under a lot of pressure and I would, you know, have all these visions and where the business needs to go. And I would just direct, direct, direct what needs to happen rather than fostering a collaboration.
[00:17:41] So. Yeah, it's never good.
Rob Lyon: [00:17:43] I'll tell you what, one of the, one of the I'm, I'm big on asking really good questions.
[00:17:48] And I think one of the best questions you can ask anybody is what can I do to help? You know, if you're, if you start with that here I am, but let's collaborate. Let's work together. What can I do to help you? And this comes from my background as a health and fitness professional, because what am I I'm here to do is I'm here to help.
[00:18:03] But in every conversation, every relationship I'm trying to have up and down the chain, it's. How can I help you? What can we do together? And if you start on that footing, all of a sudden you bring everybody together almost like a 50, 50, and then we're all working together and then we're all pushing in the same direction.
Rob's beginnings in running a business
Vit Muller: [00:18:18] Nice. Yes, absolutely . Let's talk about your business. I know right now, you know, you've got Lion health, but back then, when you were my teacher, you were running Athleta.
[00:18:30] Well, yeah,
Rob Lyon: [00:18:30] well, I was working with an old business partner of mine, Neil. Yeah. He was a very important and effective business mentor for me in that, in that company.
[00:18:38]And now in the last sort of two years, I've kind of broken away and I've, I've created my own, my own business. Yeah.
Vit Muller: [00:18:44] What are some of the key business lessons that you learned while working with with nail?
Rob Lyon: [00:18:48] Yeah. So Neil was a really important business mentor for me. He was the guy that really got me back up and running when I moved back to from America to Australia at the end of 2011.
[00:18:59] So he really helped me build a bit of a. Client bias. You know, he really gave me some Mo some sort of guidance and motivation to kind of head in the right direction, which was great. And he was already very well established as, as a very effective festival, trying to access physiologists who had access to some high profile clientele, which that always helped as well.
[00:19:16] But the big thing that we would do all the time is we'd be doing weekly goal setting sessions and weekly meetings. And we would do them week in, week out, no matter where we were, no matter what we were doing, we were always leaving with two to three actionable things that we would need to do. Before the next week.
[00:19:31] And we would try and hold each other accountable and it will kind of work both ways. So that was really important in us kind of pushing forward the direction of the business. It was really important to me because he was on my case to look to source new leads, not look to find new clients. And, you know, I learned, I learned a lot about how to build a business through him.
[00:19:50]So it was really, really vital and I've taken that concept forward. In terms of understanding how important it is to have a business mentor wherever you are in business. Because he was obviously quite a few rungs ahead of me at the time and I wanted to get to that level, you know? And so I needed to ask him the right sort of questions.
[00:20:08] How did you do this? What did you do here? And I think another really important question that I think needs to be asked for all business owners. We might touch on this a little bit more later on is that we shouldn't always ask. When you're asking a business mentor, what worked for you, because there are a lot of different ways in which you can go and still have a successful business.
[00:20:27] I think what a better question to ask most people is what didn't work for. You. Or what did you do early on that went wrong, that you wasted a lot of time or money or energy on. And what you tend to find with that is a lot of those answers tend to be very similar. And so then you can start, okay. If I try and avoid those things and focus more on these things, then I'm going to get to where I need to go.
[00:20:50] So the path of success can be windy and it can go a lot of different ways. But usually the path to failure is a little bit more linear. That's what I've found. So that's one of my favorite questions. I like to ask anyone in a business, both in different types of businesses ahead of me underneath me.
[00:21:05] What have you found that hasn't worked and what's been a waste of time for you? And I think that's a really important question to ask.
Vit Muller: [00:21:10] That's a really good point. Yeah. Because everybody has different backgrounds, different understanding, a different experience. So we all have different. Different, like you said, different paths to get to, to that success.
[00:21:21] And so you know, seeking some kind of a blueprint you know, the analogy of making an instant soup, following the instructions exactly as they've written and there you go, you're going to be successful in business following some sort of blueprint. It's never really doesn't really work that way.
[00:21:38]You will always need to sort of pivot and ship it up to your own way to make it work. But but yeah, that is a great point having. That understanding of what are the failures that others have done have, have gone through, have experienced? That's something, yeah, that's something that there is a, there's a commonality in that, so that's great.
Rob Lyon: [00:21:54] Definitely. And it is obviously, as we all know as business people, it is okay to fail because it means you're out there trying things. But what you want to do is you want to fail early. And you want to fail cheaply and then you want to move on, you know, so you need to be obviously constantly tracking things like, are they working?
[00:22:08] Are they not whatever metrics you decide to use? But
If you've got six things, you're going to spend 15% of your energy on all of them
[00:22:11] if something isn't working for you, you need to cut and run, you know, because it's just going to send you down a further of a rabbit hole. You're going, gonna spend more time, more money and more of your energy. Because you're thinking about energy is a finite resource as well.
[00:22:22] There's only so much energy you can put into things. So if you're pulling yourself in 10 different directions, you've got to really go, okay, what is it working? What can I cut out? And what can I focus on? And one of my big things with fitness professionals entering the industry is that you don't want to try and offer a thousand different types of services.
[00:22:38] You know, I've got students completing their. So at four qualifications right now and online, and they submit a business plan and one of the business plans is what sort of services do you want to offer? And some of them say, I'm going to do one-on-one training to do group training. I'm going to do older adults.
[00:22:51] I'm going to do women only. I'm going to do online fitness and I'm going to do beach sessions. And I'm like, Whoa, I'm like, that's six services. It's way too many, you know, focus on what can I get really good at? What are one or two really, really good niche, successful services that I know that my skillset.
[00:23:08] He's works with. And then from there we can look to expand out once you become the market leader in those services. So they're the ones that you really need to focus on. So I think having that narrowed sort of approach is vital.
Vit Muller: [00:23:19] Hmm.
[00:23:20] Why do you think that is that people tend to pick more things to start out with?
Rob Lyon: [00:23:23] It's it's a combination of excitement of the industry because they see the potential for growth.
[00:23:28] Yeah, but I, like I said, I keep coming back to energy is a finite resource. If you've got six things, you're going to spend 15% of your energy on all of them. You know, whereas if you've got two things, you might spend 50% on age. And I think that's just the most important thing. Now, obviously you need to do your, do, do deal of diligence in terms of where's my target market, you know what what's in demand, what can I make money from, et cetera.
[00:23:50] But at the same time, if you try and spread yourself a little bit too, thinly people just get too excited, you know, especially in the health and fitness industry, which is so image conscious. So social media driven. So online now focused that people think, Oh, I need to do is create an Instagram and make it look real good and offer a thousand different services.
[00:24:07] And I'm going to get people from all walks of life, come and contact me. And that's just not really the reality. It really isn't. So, you know, you're not fostering creating relationships. You know, if I started with a simple one-on-one personal training business, and all I focused on was getting kick-ass results for my clients and then asking for referrals, I'm going to build that up very quickly.
[00:24:26] Okay then from there in six to 12 months time, now I can start to Institute. Okay, this is all looking good. This is working for me. How about I start some small group training sessions, you know, two to three, four at a time and let's build that up. So that's how I've always taken the approach. And that's allowed me to split my business into three distinct arms, which has kind of helped me because it it's, again, three is probably.
[00:24:47] A lot of things to focus on, but it is also only three very specific niche sort of markets that I focus on.
Vit Muller: [00:24:53] And, and obviously there was a, it was a journey that take you there took you there. They didn't start it from the get go.
[00:25:00] Now let's talk about those. So number one, Corporate wellness right now. Would that be the number one right now for you?
Rob Lyon: [00:25:07] Yeah, I think definitely in terms of growing and building my business, I'm definitely looking to, to do that. Obviously it's been the most difficult time of year for corporate health and wellness with COVID hitting you know, you want to talk about bad luck stories.
[00:25:18] I had. I'm a brand new six part seminar series that I was that I created in conjunction with a colleague of mine who was an Olympic. He played beach volleyball for Canada at the Olympics in London, 2012. So we created this fantastic six parts seminar series, and I was going to roll it out to three or four different corporate contracts.
[00:25:34] I had three seminars booked in for the last week of March, and then COVID hit. So literally on that Friday was my last corporate day. I was in at a law firm doing one-on-one health consultations. I had three sessions booked in next week, and then one a month booked in for the week after boom, poof vanished overnight, you know, tens of thousands worth of dollars of business.
[00:25:54] Just gone in the blink of an eye because people were locked in for home and, and, and budgets went, went South and people companies cut back on discretionary, spend. And all that. So now that we're kind of coming down, hopefully out, out the back end of COVID, we're really looking to kind of push and build that up.
[00:26:10] And I think the big things that companies and organizations are seeing is definitely the need for a community concept within their workforce. Especially if we're going to be having a staggered start back to work. If people aren't going to be back in the office full time, how can we stay connected with our clientele?
[00:26:27] How can we create that sense of community? And also how can we take care of our, our employees, not just physically, but obviously mentally as well. So I've got a range of sort of services that I tailor to those types of markets. Mm.
How to foster wellness initiatives in corporate space and benefits this can have on it's employees
Vit Muller: [00:26:40] Now, for somebody listening, maybe somebody who's got a smaller business, maybe 10 to 20 employees looking to implement some sort of wellness program or start somehow what would be some simple strategies that they could, they could do on their own to start out with.
Rob Lyon: [00:26:55] So the first thing that I think is the most important thing to come from is that, that concept of community, okay, what can I do for my staff? Even if it's five, 10 or 20 to make them feel more connected together, because if they're more connected together, they're going to be pulling in the same direction in your business, which is great, but also you're going to be keeping each other accountable for their, for their own health and wellness.
[00:27:16] So one of the first things that I put into a program when I. Build up corporate wellness is the concept of group training. We try and find logistical arrangements, before work or lunchtime or after work, but getting people exercising together, getting people, sweating, getting people feeling good, we all know how great you feel after an exercise session.
[00:27:34] Now, if I feel that in my work environment, then I'm going to associate all these work colleagues with feeling good. Right. And that's, and that's such an underrated concept. So rather than going back to a work where we're sitting at a cubicle, or maybe we're having issues, or we're having disagreements with people, if we can get out, we can sweat together, then we're going to feel great, you know?
[00:27:53] And then that's the sort of energy that you want to take back into the office. For the next four or five hours of your day. So I always tend to start there. The next thing that I do is I look at stress relief and stress management, especially in a lot of my law firms that I work with that have a lot of, a lot of very, you know, I call them the, I call them dark to dark. They turn up when it's dark, they go home when it's dark, those types of those types of employees. So I put a lot of our lunchtime sort of yoga and meditation and deep breathing type services in classes together. So they can cut the day in half they can get as I, one of my favorite sayings is get out of your brain and get into your body.
[00:28:29] Right. So they can get into their body with a little bit of a practice, nothing too sweaty, you know, they don't have to go shower and all that, but they can move. They can, they can breathe. They can down-regulate that nervous. Yeah. And get that sort of parasympathetic that rest and digest nervous system going and be a lot more calm and a lot more effective for the rest of the day.
[00:28:46] So, yeah. They're they're sort of two core offerings. And then what I like to do at scale as well is talk to a lot of the people individually. So having an exercise professional going in and sitting down with each staff member for 20 minutes is, is vital because a lot of these, one of these employees, they might not have, especially the guys hate to say it.
[00:29:04] They might not have seen a GP for five or six years. They might've seen anyone in regards to their health because they're being too busy. But if you can book in and see me. Or we can do some body composition testing. We can check your blood pressure. We can talk about your nutrition. We can set yourself some goals.
[00:29:18] And then I come back every eight weeks and we check in again and see how you're going. Those sorts of services are vital and they're always really well achieved. So I'll spend a couple of days locked in a conference room at, at, at, at some sort of office sort of seeing people back to back. And I really, really enjoyed doing that and connecting with people one-on-one so that's another fantastic service.
Vit Muller: [00:29:37] No, that's great. That's great. Just to summarize then keeping it as simply a base back to basics, incorporate some sort of a group fitness in your business between your, your employees and sort of a group training. Number two.
Rob Lyon: [00:29:52] Yoga. So, so, so some sort of yoga stretching, meditation, nervous system downregulation.
[00:29:58] So if it's half an hour of breathing or meditation in the middle of the day. Great. And thirdly, if you can, if you've got the means, you know, having your employees chat to an exercise professional one-on-one and setting that on a sort of a recurring schedule. So every eight weeks I come back in, I check in, I yell at you.
[00:30:14] If you haven't been doing what I tell you, or, you know, we, we, we kind of go on a bit of a journey together. I think that's important.
Importance of balancing out fight or flight with rest & recovery
Vit Muller: [00:30:20] Now, what would you say to some who perceive a good workout as something that is intense? And if it wasn't intense, if they haven't felt the pain, it wasn't a good workout because you talk about that concept of down-regulating.
[00:30:32] Right. So. Why do we need to worry about that?
Rob Lyon: [00:30:37] Yeah. So the concept of downregulation is essentially giving your nervous system of a bit of a bath, a bit of a rest. Yeah. So life can be stressful. Work can be stressful. Relationships can be stressful. Lack of sleep can be stressful. And then what we tend to do, a lot of people tend to do is they throw really hard, intense, constant exercise on top of that.
[00:30:57] So you're throwing stress on top of stress. Okay. Now, small amounts of stress are good. So if you had a really hard 45 minute exercise session where you were really chill for the rest of the day, that's a great day, right? That's the right amount of stress. But if you have a really hard 45 minute wait session in the gym, then you go into 10 hours worth of meetings where you stress and then you're going and having three beers, and then you're not sleeping sleep for five hours.
[00:31:19] It's just too much for your nervous system. So what we need to do is think about what's the opposite. So the opposite is to down-regulate is to focus on your breath, to get the heart rate down. You know, I get the blood pressure back onto control and that's where those types of breathing practices and stretching and yoga and meditative sort of sequences I think are really important.
[00:31:38] So it's the inter the yang. And a lot of people just put the pedal to the middle. They put the hammer down over and over and over again, and you've got to balance it out because otherwise it's just too much.
Vit Muller: [00:31:47] Yeah, absolutely.
[00:31:48] We talk about that concept of homeostasis is so important, right? What is homeostasis is when the body is in balance, body is digesting.
[00:31:57] A heart rate goes down, you feel relaxed. And and then everything just works. As opposed to be in that constant fight or flight mode. You're constantly just a cortisol, just going all time high. And and you become immune suppressed after, after a certain period of days, weeks. Roughly.
Rob Lyon: [00:32:14] Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
[00:32:16] Most definitely. So yeah, you can become it. Immune suppressed. You can literally have sort of a bit of a cortisol meltdown and you can go into sort of, long-term sort of chronic fatigue issues. You can have all sorts of issues in terms of like sort of skin problems. Obviously blood pressure can go through the roof and, and, and, and your mood levels.
[00:32:34] Change as well, which is not great. And you're not going to be the best person to be around as well. And that feeds into sleep. It feeds into an increased need for alcohol and, and sort of sugary foods to kind of keep the rollercoaster of blood sugar levels up. So it's just, you know, you kind of training in a bad path.
[00:32:47] So we need to find a way that they kind of press the reset button on your nervous system. Give it a bit of a bath, like I said, and just sort of relax and downregulate.
Correlation about health of employees and bottom line in the business
Vit Muller: [00:32:56] I think for any organization, it's really important to, to think about this. Think about every single employee on their individual level about this, this, this this state off a good balance for good performance, because let's talk about that.
[00:33:11] I mean, how does being in a constant fight or flight have affect your performance?
Rob Lyon: [00:33:16] I talk about this a lot, especially when I'm going in and sort of discussing the options for corporate wellness programs is a lot of employees like to employers, like to look at the bottom line with their staff. They love to look at like their absenteeism rates.
[00:33:29] Like, you know, if I can have a staff that's less sick and less days off work. Then that's going to be a more effective sort of like workplace. But what I tend to look at is the concept of presenteeism, which I'm sure maybe this might hark back to 10 years ago. We were in diploma. So presenteeism is when you've got staff members or employees that are there, but they're not functioning at a hundred percent.
[00:33:49] Okay. So if I was to sell you a corporate wellness program, I'd say, look, look at the numbers. If you've got, if you've got 20 staff that will make a hundred thousand dollars a year. Yep. And they're operating at 70% capacity, you're losing $30,000 a year. Post staff. Member, you know, so what can we do to close some of that back?
[00:34:06] You know, so spending time and money and, and interest on your employee's health is so absolutely vital, right? Because we want your employees operating at their best, both physically, both mentally, both emotionally, they're going to be better team players. You'll be more effective at what they do, and they're going to be healthier and fitter, you know, and I, I like to expand that to like the concept of like doctors, you know, would you want to go and see a GP who's 25 kilos overweight.
[00:34:31] Who smokes and then tries to take medical advice off them? No, like, you know, you want to, you want to find a JP that's as fit in a strong, as healthy as you are. So you want staff members that are in that same sort of mode. You want a nice fit, healthy, motivated, engaged workforce, because that's where teamwork comes and that's where results come from.
Vit Muller: [00:34:49] Do you have any good Success stories, some good examples of some corporate clients that you've serviced and how, you know, in some stats, in some numbers, how it sort of. Improved the bottom line.
Rob Lyon: [00:35:02] Yeah. Yeah. I do look at one of the hardest things with with corporate wellness and sort of judging effectiveness of the programs is it's very hard to put a dollar value on sort of, you know, people want to know about like return on investment and, and, and wellness is such a subjective term.
[00:35:16] You know, we can talk about you know, we've lost. 150 kilos as a group of 10 over the past year, you know, that's all well and good, but how do we measure the improvements in mental health and effectiveness and productivity? It's very hard to kind of quantify and measure. There's been quite a few studies out and there was a Harvard study a few years ago that looked at for every dollar.
[00:35:36] This was in the U S for every dollar spent on a corporate wellness program. The, the company received about $3, 50 to $4 worth of indirect employee health benefits. So, I mean, from that. From that perspective, there it's an absolute no-brainer. You know, what I tend to focus on again, is what can I do to help this group?
[00:35:55] How can I bring this community together? And what we ended up doing is we with a lot of my groups, I've got a law firm and McCullough Robertson in Sydney CBD. We end up doing things like obstacle course races together. So we'll book one, eight to 10 weeks in advance. We'll have an eight to 10 week training program that will lead up to it.
[00:36:13] And then we'll have a whole weekend. I'll come up to the central coast. Group of 10 to 12 to 15 of them were all do the race together. There's comradery, there's teamwork. They've really achieved something. We've gotten over a lot of clients' fears. We had, we had one of the staff members that couldn't swim and we had to take them through neck deep water.
[00:36:28] So everybody's kind of working together. We hung out, had beers and a barbecue afterwards. It was all fantastic. So, you know, for me, they're the types of things that I'm trying to do. What can I do to bring these companies and these groups together, and what can I do to create an environment where they're excited and happy to be healthy together?
How do you roll out corporate wellness program effectively
Vit Muller: [00:36:46] So we know that this is a solution that works. Now, the question is how do you roll it out in an organization? Where should it start?
Rob Lyon: [00:36:54] That's a very good question. So the first thing is, is understanding sort of the size of the scope of the company and understanding what service offerings are going to work for you.
[00:37:01] So, like I said before, you know, getting some established group training times out where we've got trainers to come in and service boxing classes or boot camps or run clubs, which we do, especially in the weeks leading up to City to surf. That's great. So that's, that's a really important way to start to implement.
[00:37:19] Getting those health consultations in where we can speak to the staff members on a one-on-one basis. You know, I'll tell, I'll tell a company that if I'm coming in in three weeks time and I'll get an entire day booked out within 30 minutes, you know, because people are really keen with finally get a chance to see and speak to somebody, you know, and obviously the company is paying for it.
[00:37:35] Right? So those things are vital. And then from there, we can look at making individual changes. You know, individual changes in people's health that has a flow on effect within the company. So that's kind of where I tend to start. Then we can come in with things like monthly seminars and information sessions, which are great events like I've talked about before.
[00:37:52] So building up to a specific event or so like a City to surf race and things like that. So the opportunities are really endless. I like to do a bit of a sort of an audit of, of the company before we get started, have a look at their size, have a look at what type of staff. Demographics age groups, et cetera.
[00:38:08] And then we can kind of really tile some programs to suit their needs. And then we just look at uptake, you know, not all programs are effective. Sometimes the uptake's not great. If an uptake's not great on a program, we fail early, we cut it, we try something else, you know, so, and then we're just looking for the maximum amount of engagement within the programs, because that's the most effective way to spend the time and money as a company.
Vit Muller: [00:38:29] Yeah, that, that was that. That's what I was after to ask you about that because some, cause it comes down to the culture in a company and organization, right? There's some organizations where the employees that are all unfit. Most of them don't exercise as an example. And so trying to roll out the program like that, you're just going to get a lot of backlash, you know, a lot of you know, interest
Rob Lyon: [00:38:51] Lot of "I'm too busy". Yeah. I get that all the time. And look, it does come down to the to the demographics and typically the most well attended corporate wellness programs are the one that have the, the demographics that tend to skew a bit younger. Also, you know, I work a lot with law firms and law firms are very. Difficult because they're quite time conscious, you know, there'll be in court or they'll have meetings, or they tend to work very long hours.
[00:39:12] So with those types of ones, I run sort of a lot of remote classes. I focus a lot on those sorts of seminars and those individual health sessions. They can book it at a time that suits them and we spend sort of less time working on some of the other, some of the other aspects of the service. So it really does depend on the company, but like I said, you know, we will put something in.
[00:39:30] We'll try it. We'll give it a six week run. If it doesn't work, we'll cut it. We'll try something else. You know, but at the end of the day, I'm coming in, we're here to help. What is it? What can we do.
Vit Muller: [00:39:40] Now? Let's talk about top executives. The top level of any company that's where the leadership should really come from.
[00:39:46] Right. How important is it for, for these top level you know, these top level roles, CEO or CFO, how important is it for them to actually. Take on board program like that for themselves?
Rob Lyon: [00:39:55] Look a hundred percent. It is absolutely vital. And whilst we won't get a lot of the CEO and CFO guys at say the group training sessions, which, which for obvious reasons, they're very busy, they got meetings.
[00:40:05] We do get a few, which is great for them to take an interest. And an understanding in the program itself is absolutely vital. So I do see a lot of them in terms of the one-on-one health consultations that I run. I do get a lot of them to kind of come into the seminars and talk and introduce and explain the concepts as well.
[00:40:23] I like to do a lot of discussions with some of the CEOs of CFOs in front of staff members about health and wellness. So I do that. I do that as well to really kind of get people on the same page. So that's really important. It's another interesting thing is privately. I do try and quite a few clients in the CEO CFO space, and I found that they're all.
[00:40:40] Extremely highly motivated and they're all pretty doing a pretty good job with their health and fitness. I always say, if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. So it always astounds me that CEOs and CFOs have time to. Cycle 120 kilometers on the weekend, or, you know, run triathlons or, or do marathons or whatever.
[00:40:58] But a lot of them do seem to do that. I think it comes down to that type a personality and that drive. I've got a client who is the CEO of Newsdesk, which is, which is a sports supplement company. I've been trying to get him for years and years and years. And we train once or twice a week. He's working long hours in the, in, in, at the office.
[00:41:16] And he's always, you know, Huck in the middle of the night, emailing and dealing with stuff from overseas, but he'll ride 200, 250 kilometers on the weekend, you know, because to him that's important. That's non-negotiable for him to be an effective executive, you know, he needs to put time and effort into that.
[00:41:30] So if they can do it, you know, everybody else can. So there really isn't excuse. I don't like the, I don't have time. Excuse. It's just a lack of priorities.
Vit Muller: [00:41:40] Absolutely. Absolutely. There's always there's always one who goes again to current, but yeah, we can, we can make it happen.
Rob Lyon: [00:41:48] Yeah. That's it.
Rob shares his definition of success as a dad and having a bullet proof
Vit Muller: [00:41:49] Now this show is about inspiring others through, you know, sharing success stories, what was your success story, Rob?
Rob Lyon: [00:41:58] Well, that's a really important one. I think my success story is still coming, you know managing to sort of juggle everything that I'm doing and being an effective dad I think to me, is an success a successful story. You know, I've got a five-year-old daughter. And a two and a half year old son at home.
[00:42:14]You know, and so being being able to manage my energy levels and being effective, both at work and away from work to me is, is definitely an idea of success. You know, as I have gone through this industry and gone from areas times where I'm driven by. You know, more clients and more this and more money and more notoriety.
[00:42:33] I've really kind of pulled that back. And I go, if I can help and make an impact to my clients and my corporate groups and my students through my fitness education, that's what I'm here to do. And if I can do that and also be an effective dad as you're about to find out, I think that's going to be really important.
[00:42:49] So to me, that's, I've good. I've got a very different sort of concept of success. I'm really happy with where my business is at. I was lucky. That by having three distinct parts of my business you know, COVID really knocked out one of them, which was the corporate wellness one. But what I also found was that my fitness education side of my business became twice as busy because we had more and more people with more time at home to up-skill.
[00:43:12] To think about the next step I was getting flooded with marking and submissions and case studies and videos and things like that. So that part of my business actually really built up. So, you know, without me even knowing it, by be able to diversifying into these areas, I was still able to maintain. Sort of a bit more of a Bulletproof type of business.
[00:43:30] And then with my one-on-one clientele, it's, it's, it's there and it's never been stronger. So, you know whilst I'm happy with where I'm at, I'm still looking to always progress and push things forward. You know, I'm moving into a different phase of my career. I'm getting a little bit older and for me, helping others is the most important thing.
Vit Muller: [00:43:49] I love it. I love it at the big takeaway point from this is that I guess your perception of success will change through different stages of life. So there's no right or wrong for anyone to have their own level of, of success journey, a Success goal that they perceive as a success goal, whether it's, you know, having a, a fancy car, whatever it is that drives you, whatever motivates you.
[00:44:12] It's it's great. But like you said,
Rob Lyon: [00:44:15] yeah, look, it's funny you mentioned cars, one of my things that I always say you should buy the cheapest, safest car your ego can afford. That's always been, that's always been my rule. So your definition of ego is up to you. If your ego demands a big car, you can do that.
[00:44:30]You know, mine, obviously doesn't as long, I'm six foot seven, as long as I can find something I can fit into. I'm fine. And, and, you know success to me change pretty much the moment that I had my first child, because it really put life into perspective for me. And it made me realize that now is the phase to give to other people.
[00:44:47] And if I can do that as much as possible and I can do that as effectively as possible and always looking for ways to be more effective, then that's what I wanna do.
Vit Muller: [00:44:54] Mm. Yeah. I love it. See for me. If I reflect back 10 years ago, I was, I was very driven into the entrepreneurship, business, business, business, and growth, and you know, financial success.
Rob Lyon: [00:45:08] I remember those days, I remember that night, I was, I was really impressed because you were a student and you were getting after it you had, you know, you had the VITFIT, you were doing all the online stuff, you are creating these portals. You're creating all these different businesses and marketing companies.
[00:45:23] And I thought, I thought it was fantastic, I really did.
[00:45:27] But now my
Vit Muller: [00:45:30] level of success actually is different. See, now for me, what I perceive as success is having a good balance a lifestyle business that allows me to be at home with the family. with the little, little one my son with my partner and, you know, obviously earning earning a decent income, but I'm no longer, like I don't need to be a millionaire kind of thing.
[00:45:52] You know? Like I just want to have a good quality of life where I can enjoy my free time. And I think that's an important one because sometimes we chase that dream of being rich, you know, some people might like, I like that. I remember I was like that, you know, but it's what is true happiness, right?
[00:46:08] Is it having a big bank account and being overworked and busy and not having any time for yourself or, or any time to really be present with your friends and family? Is that success? Is that happiness? I don't know for me it's not.
Rob Lyon: [00:46:24] I couldn't agree with you more. And I think, I think a lot of it does come with age.
[00:46:28]Because in my early twenties, I was felt exactly the same way even into my late twenties. And it was really getting into the medical field and understanding that, Hey, there are people that need help. And that's what we're here to do in this industry is we're really here to help people. That's really shifted my mindset.
[00:46:42] And and you know, maybe I could write a book from all the stuff I've seen and all the things I've heard from being a personal trainer in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney for the past sort of 10 years, you know? And one of the big things that I've noticed with a lot of my top end of town clients, mate, is you know, they're not all the most happiest.
[00:46:56] They're not all the happiest people in the world. They've all got their own things going on. They might have the big. The houses and the fancy cars and all that sort of stuff and a life that looks good on the outside, but a lot of them are struggling on the inside, you know, so we really need to redefine what that concept of, of, of, of success is and find your own.
[00:47:14] And don't get sucked in too much with keeping up with the Joneses if you know what I mean.
Vit Muller: [00:47:19] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Never, never lose track of your inner in the balance in a happiness because yeah. Again, you know, for those of you who are listening, who are in your twenties early twenties, if you have that drive, if you have that fire under you.
[00:47:33] I say, go for it, go all in, use that fire and pursue your dreams but while you're in that journey and you work it hard to build your own businesses make sure you actually find those moments to reconcile yourself with your own efforts, with your own successes so that you can stay in balance or don't lose track of your own inner happiness.
[00:47:51] Make sure you find that time to personally have a. I have a chance to de-load offload, you know from all the stress and spent time with her friends, friends, and family every now and then don't just work with work because before you know, it you'd be in your thirties and then you'd be like, where did all the time gone?
Rob Lyon: [00:48:07] That's exactly right mate. And I that's that's really well said, I couldn't agree with you more. And Like I said, it does come a bit with the experience, but you know, if you've got the, if you've got the energy and the motivation and drive hit at a thousand percent, you know, but take time to make sure that you always heading in the right direction because you want to make sure that car is always pointed in the direction that you want to go.
[00:48:26] And sometimes it's the, the roads going change as, as, as you age and as you get more experienced and understand more of, of, of what it is you want out of this life.
Vit Muller: [00:48:36] Now, back to you Rob,
Rob's public speaking gigs and speaking at the 2000 Sydney Olympics opening ceremony reherseal.
[00:48:37] talking about giving back in you know, educating others, inspiring others. You also do some public speaking don't you?
Rob Lyon: [00:48:45] Yeah, I do do a little bit of public speaking. This year I've, I've had a, a PR company that's kind of come on board Pop com shout out to Amanda. And she's been fantastic at getting me a few speaking gigs in a few other bits and pieces, but a lot of this stems back from when I was really young and it was another really important formative moment for me.
[00:49:04]And my confidence shot through the roof was that I got the chance to speak at the 2000 Sydney Olympics opening ceremony, the the, not the actual opening ceremony, but the dress rehearsal. So I'll make a long story short in two thousands. Obviously, the. Olympics were in Sydney. Before the opening ceremony, they had two dress rehearsals, which were basically just a dry run of all the events and all the, all the who ra and all the, you know, the, the shows and the performances.
[00:49:29] And they needed someone to play the role of the Australian Olympic committee chairman, who was Michael Knight. Now he's the same height as me. He's six foot seven. He's a really tall guy. So I was at high school one day. They plucked me out of high school. They said, Hey, you're the same size as the sky. We need someone the same height so that we can get the right camera angles.
[00:49:46] We can get the right security footage, we can get the right whatever. Can you come to Homebush? And can you make a speech? And I'm like, sure. And I thought it was just going to be like an empty stadium. I'd be at the Olympic stadium, whatever. And you know, we had a couple of rehearsals and all of a sudden I'm.
[00:50:00]I'm at the event and there's 95,000 people there. The place was completely packed. It was salt Lake. They sold tickets to the dress rehearsal before the Sydney Olympics, and it was completely packed and I was with another girl and she played the role of Juan Antonio Samaranch who was the IOC chairman.
[00:50:17] And we did everything that they were going to do on the night we ate the same food. I had a security guard escort me. If I had to go to the toilet, it was wild. It was crazy. I went backstage and met all these John Farnham and all these Australian, you know, singers and celebrities. And then it was my turn to deliver a four minute speech.
[00:50:34] On a stage in front of 95,000 people in my school uniform. And I remember sweating through the whole thing I spent through my entire had my blazer on, but I had a white shirt on any thoughts, sway that watched it was say through. And so I went out there and it was, it was bizarre experience. It was completely dark.
[00:50:51] They will temper bulbs going off. And two nights in a row, I delivered a four minute speech and I just. Pretend it I was Michael Night , we'd like to thank the athletes for coming and we declare the games open and all that sort of stuff. And it was such a crazy experience. And, but someone who had struggled a little bit with, with public speaking and, you know, I remember at high school having to do a talk that would last two minutes and I'd, you know, and I'd be too fast or too slow.
[00:51:13] And I got out there and I did it and I did. Okay. I think I stuffed up one of the lines and people started laughing. So I had 25,000 people laugh at me. And then after that I was like, well, I'll tell you what if I can do that? I can do absolutely anything. And honestly, ever since then, my fear of public speaking just went straight out the window.
[00:51:32]It really kind of brought me out of my shell. It made me a lot more extroverted because I mean, talk about a stage in which you have to deliver. And I also realized I stuffed up one of my lines and people laughed at me. And I'm like, well, that's the worst thing that can happen to me. I mean, it's not that bad, is it?
[00:51:48] So, you know, it was a fantastic experience and it's something that's really, I think, you know, it was 20 years ago, but ever since then, it's really affected who I am as a person for the, for the positive, of course.
Embracing your genuine you and improving confidence by challenging your fears
Vit Muller: [00:52:00] That's amazing. And they actually say, you know, if you can get your audience laugh, that's a great, that's a great, that's a great what's the word?
Rob Lyon: [00:52:06] Skill to have maybe look, look, I didn't do it through humor. I did that through stuffing up, but maybe that's humorous as well, so sure. Why not? I'll take it.
Vit Muller: [00:52:14] Yeah, embrace it. Right. Embrace it because it makes you a bit more relaxed. Makes you a bit more human when people laugh, if you at your own stuff, ups laugh at your own stuff ups.
Rob Lyon: [00:52:24] You have to, you have to lean like, like. I'm like leaning into it. Like if you've got character flaws, if you've got things that, that you find are awkward, may just lean into it. Because as soon as you show that you can, it's this it's the Australian way. You know, as soon as you show that you can take the Mickey out of yourself, people know that this is someone that you can, you can be relaxed and you can be yourself around, you know, so the fitness industry is all about six packs and big chests and looking great and living a perfect life and eating chicken and broccoli, and nothing else might lean into who you are.
[00:52:54]Just be real. Build rapport, be, be honest, you know, have empathy with your clients and that's where you're going to go far.
Vit Muller: [00:53:01] A hundred percent, a hundred percent. I can relate to that too. That public speaking, the imposter syndrome myself. I remember back in what was it? 2014 after four years being in the industry.
[00:53:12] I mean, you know, a qualified good three years by then. I got asked by if you remember Ross I got asked by him to I don't remember college was looking for a new teacher to teach and there's an international college for upcoming fitness professionals. And I got asked to. To come along for a, for an interview for a, for a job to teach.
[00:53:31] And and by that, I mean, I've been teaching, I've been training people for three years. So I guess I had a little bit of experience. I felt a little bit confident about, you know, helping clients, but not teaching fitness. I was like, Are you sure? Like may and he's like, nah, mate. Yeah, you'll be, you'll be all right.
[00:53:48] And you know, they did, to me the first, the first sort of a day, the first shift they gave me, instead of putting me in the gym to teach practical, which obviously I would feel much more comfortable with because that was my world. No, they put me in a. In a theory in a room of 20 international students to, to deliver a lesson, to deliver a three hour class.
[00:54:09]And I can tell you it was, yeah, I was it wasn't nice. It was, it was pretty ugly at the beginning. I was, I was very nervous. But I found those little, like my own little, like little tricks, you know, to, to make myself comfortable. And one of them was to, you know, to actually get laugh at my own stuff and just try and try and keep things a bit more down to earth and trying to like.
[00:54:32] Keep an eye, keep eye contact with, you know, like, not just look at the whole crowd, but like keep an eye contact a few people so that you're like you're there with them and things like that. And anyway, what it gave me a, you know, I think, I think I was teaching for about a year, a year and half. That experience?
[00:54:47] Well, that gave me while it wasn't 90,000 a crowd, it was still a crowd. Nevertheless, that experience just gave me so much more confidence in me and, and being able to talk cause when you're in there and there's 20 people looking at, you expecting you to teach them something about fitness, there's a pressure that's put upon you to deliver that and not just deliver it by knowledge, but also how do you say the things right.
[00:55:11] And what I found my brain. Before that I was like, there's no way I'm going to be able to talk for four hours. But what I found was when you, when you end that stressful situation, going back to what we said before, Before right. Pressure pressure makes diamonds right. I actually found my brain started to work in at a higher capacity, trying to suddenly I was able to talk and talk about a topic for longer and longer.
[00:55:36] And before I realized, wow, this is, I can do this. So it's definitely, yeah, I'd definitely recommend anybody, anybody try and do some public speaking because. That confidence gives you to do anything else. Like if you then want to do public speaking for corporates or running bootcamps, you're going to be running those bootcamps with much more confidence and much better leadership.
Rob Lyon: [00:55:56] I couldn't agree with you more. And I suppose when you got out of that session, I'm sure you thought to yourself, well, that wasn't that bad. Was it? You know, and, and like I say, to a lot of people, uh, everything is sort of about getting your repetitions in, um, as a business owner as a presenter, uh, talking in front of people and gaining that confidence everything's about reps. And I know it's a, it's an old saying that we use in the fitness industry, but the more and more you do things, the more and more you get exposed to it, the easier and easier that it gets. So, you know, that's my advice for a lot of small business owners is just get in there, get those reps going, you know, make some mistakes like we spoke about before.
[00:56:29] It's fine. It's okay to fail a little bit earlier. And you know, keep pushing things forward from there.
What Rob wishes he knew when he started his business, power of networking and professional referrals
Vit Muller: [00:56:35] Absolutely. Now is there anything that you wish you'd know when you started your own business?
Rob Lyon: [00:56:41] I wish that I had taken the time to, to speak to business mentors a lot more earlier in my, uh, sort of business process, uh, you know, starting and growing and trying to scale up my business.
[00:56:52] Um, yeah, I thought that I was a little bit too proud to try and lean on and other people for help and support. And obviously we spoke about before I had Neil to really kind of help me, um, when, when I was working with Athleta. But. To take that next step forward. You really need to be sort of playing in a bigger pool and talking to people who are a lot more successful than you that have carved out, uh, you know, uh, a real niche or run a successful program in your space and come at them from a terms of, you know, how can I help?
[00:57:20] How can we collaborate together? I didn't really ask for a lot of collaboration and a lot of help early on. And so I felt like sometimes I sort of was spinning my wheels and going nowhere. And I think as human beings. We just want to help each other. And it's funny, every time I've asked for help, um, I've, I've received it and I've received it without any sort of a tit for tat or I'll help you out.
[00:57:43] And I know I'm going to ask you for a favor later on, you know, at the end of the day, I like, I like to trust human beings and trust that we're going to be all helping each other sort of attain and achieve success. So that's something that I really wish that I did earlier on again, if I had asked those better questions, what didn't work or what didn't help.
[00:57:59] Early on in growing a business. I'm sure I would have heard that from quite a lot of my mentors.
Vit Muller: [00:58:04] Yes. So in summary, go and seek out, help from people who've done it, who were, um, who've achieved success, learn from them because that can fast track your progress. And to add to that, also make sure that you surround your self with the right people around you, cause that's the saying goes, you are the, you are the average of the five people that you surround yourself with.
[00:58:23] And if you're somebody that, um, lacks self discipline and self motivation, And, and you are somebody who, who takes a lot of energy from other people to keep pushing forward. Then you make sure that those people are pushing you in the right direction.
Rob Lyon: [00:58:37] A hundred percent couldn't agree with you more and that's a very easy one to, um, to get stuck with when you start hanging out with a lot of the old people or the old crew will people perhaps that aren't as dedicated or motivated or pushing in the right direction as you, um, you know, you want to create an environment of growth.
[00:58:52] You want to have a growth mindset rather than sort of a fixed mindset. So that's a definitely invaluable information.
Vit Muller: [00:58:59] A hundred percent, a hundred percent. And one of the easiest ways to start with is what I typically recommend is join one of the business networks. There's many business networks, there's BNI , there is a BX networking and they're great networks because there are so many small business owners. Some who've been established for years and some who are just starting out and by you being part of that network, you get to. You surround yourself with people who are going through same, you know, who live in the same world who run business and you can learn from it as well.
[00:59:30] And it actually accelerate your progress, um, that way as well. So that's, that's my tip, that what I found personally, it worked really well for me.
Rob Lyon: [00:59:38] Most definitely. And in the health and fitness industry as well, creating a, an allied health professional network is so important, obviously with the work that I do with these special populations, clients mainly, um, getting in with GPS and nutritionists and massage therapists and physiotherapists and creating really good relationships with working hard with them early on in the piece is vital because at the end of the day, we end up sending business to everybody. So I've got, I received clients from physios. I send them to physios. I receive clients from GPs, I send them back to GPs. So if you create that network, it's just going to help to grow your business exponentially in a lot quicker time.
Vit Muller: [01:00:15] Absolutely. You know, I always remember you were drilling into us. You have to be able to write a good referral emails. You have to write the referrals properly. I remember that still. I still remember that we were sitting at a pool at the pool area, all of us you know, sitting at the table and writing our a referral letters.
[01:00:32] And I now up until today, I know that that was a very valuable lesson because, um, I know when, when I was personal trainer, Um, these, you know, this skillset of writting a proper referral letter, you know, coming across as very professional somebody, um, to refer a client to a physio or doctor, um, it, it really paid off.
Rob Lyon: [01:00:55] Yeah. It's, it's definitely the missing piece of the puzzle for a lot of personal trainers is to create those, uh, those relationships with those allied health professionals. And yeah writing those detailed referral letters is something that I hammered on for about six months. I think with you guys, you know, week in and week out, because it's a, it's a skill and it's something that you can do and repeat over and over again.
[01:01:13] And then the rewards are there in terms of, you know, as soon as someone thinks about a personal trainer or an AP or an exercise scientist, you're always the first person in mind and that's where you want to be. You always want to position yourself as. First in mind because I still get emails out of the blue from people I haven't heard from, from using years, but they know me, they know what I'm doing and they're coming in to seek for my help.
[01:01:33] And I haven't spoken to them two years and that's just because I've created such a good network over the years.
Rob's current fitness / wellness regime to keep on top of his best performance
Vit Muller: [01:01:38] Absolutely. Now. And the final bit of this interview, I want to talk to you about, um, you know, physical performance. I mean, we both come from backgrounds, so we know, you know, it's important to train and stay physically fit.
[01:01:44][01:01:51] What do you do? What is your go-to routine these days to, to keep you fit and active?
Rob Lyon: [01:01:56] Look, I am a little bit older. Um, a few things that I've learned over the years is that I can't push myself flat out every single day. Um, so I usually typically exercise about three to four days a week, sometimes a little bit more.
[01:02:07] Um, I'm spending a lot of time walking and jogging and doing a lot of sort of low intensity, steady state exercise with my clients. But I go to a gym up here in the central coast, shout out to body movement and. I just hammer it three to four days a week. So what I've actually started doing a lot of is just going to a lot of high intensity sort of strength, training based classes are it's great for me.
[01:02:27] You know, I, I'm a trainer, I've written programs my whole life, but sometimes it's just great for me to switch off, have somebody else tell me what to do, have somebody else push me and then I can, Oh yeah. That's why people like personal trainers because they don't have to, I think about it, but I'd have to organize themselves.
[01:02:42] I just get in and do the work and, uh, that's my time to really switch off. Like I said before, get out of my brain and into my body. And I really liked to kind of see how far in deep I can go into, into the pain cave, so to speak. So a lot of like red line training, very high intensity, heavy weights, um, because I think that's important.
[01:03:01] It's important to have that discomfort. You know, we talked about that before. Um, getting uncomfortable is really important, so I don't do it as often as I used to. And I'd try and six or seven days a week, but when I'm in there, I'm still training very, very effectively and really trying to push myself.
Vit Muller: [01:03:16] Absolutely. Absolutely. It's important to find that balance. And, uh, I could definitely agree. Um, it's not about going all hell for leather. Um, every single day, um, you got to find that balance, um, that works for you. And, you know, even if it's just two days a week doing a two full body resistance workouts on those two days, but doing them properly. That can as well, just be a good benefit as well.
Rob Lyon: [01:03:38] Most definitely, I usually do like one day on one day off, um, throughout the course of the week. So I give myself that day off to rest and recharge and nervous system downregulation, knowing that I'm training hard enough within my sessions that my body really needs that break.
[01:03:51] Sometimes we tend to, uh, train too frequently, train too intensely. We don't give ourselves a chance to recover. And, you know, I'm not in the business of being over-trained and running into chronic fatigue issues and having issues with sleep and all that sort of stuff. So it's important that I'm operating, you know, and firing on all cylinders at all times.
Vit Muller: [01:04:09] Number one thing is to get started, whatever it is, just do something don't, don't sit on the couch all day, do something, go for walk, do something because even that a little bit will, will have a huge impact on your, on your health and happiness.
Rob Lyon: [01:04:23] And it just takes a while. It takes a while to become consistent, but once it becomes a part of everyday life for you and what are my big things that I say to a lot of my clients, especially when they're first starting an exercise program is don't focus so much on how exercise makes you look, focus on how exercise makes you feel.
[01:04:39] You know, if you're going in there and thinking about, I know that it's, it might be tough to get started. It's early, it's cold, whatever I'm tired, but I know how good I feel afterwards. You'll chase that feeling and that's what gets you coming back and back. And then from there you become consistent, you become compliant, which means you stick to the program that you're on.
[01:04:56] And then that's where the results come from. So it comes from focusing on how you feel first and then all the other benefits come afterwards.
Vit Muller: [01:05:03] Absolutely, absolutely.
Contact Rob for corporate wellness help and start 2021 with a bang!
[01:05:04] Now Rob somebody that's listening has a company looking to get in touch with you. Um, how, how can they get in touch with you?
Rob Lyon: [01:05:13] Yeah, look, I'm corporate wellness is something that is going to be really important in the next couple of months. As we start to see companies and officers migrate back to a sort of a blended sort of in and out of office concept, we're getting it more and more people. Um, Into offices and that need for community, uh, and, and improving physical and mental health has never been more important.
[01:05:33] So if you are coming to us, looking to put in place a health and wellness program and would like to have a chat I'm more than welcome, uh, to help you out. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can also find my website, which is lionhealth.com.au. So www.lionhealth.com.au and you'll also find me on Instagram at lion two underscores so lion, underscore under score health.
[01:05:57] And, uh, if anybody is interested in starting up a corporate wellness program, I'm more than happy to give you initial consultation. And also the first week of training sessions will be free. So I'm really excited to hopefully help out quite a few companies re-engage with their employees, get them physically and mentally healthy and active and, you know, really start 2021 with a bang.
Vit Muller: [01:06:20] Love it. Thank you so much Rob. It's been a pleasure having you back on, uh, well, it's been, it's been great having you on the show and great talking to you again after, after all disease. Um, and I look forward to hopefully one day catch up again and do our sprints like we used to back in Bondi.
Rob Lyon: [01:06:37] Yeah, most definitely.
[01:06:37] I remember those Saturday morning sprint sessions in the heat shirts off. Ah, those are the good old days. Weren't they?
[01:06:42] Look, it was fantastic to speak to you. I love what you're doing with the podcast. I think it's fantastic. You've got some really, really interesting people on here and I'm just happy to be part of it.
[01:06:50] So mate, great chat. And I look forward to speaking to you, soon.
Vit Muller: [01:06:54] Awesome, alright mate, have a great day!
Rob Lyon: [01:06:56] See you later