Starting a business from nothing is brutal. Getting anyone to pay attention to you in the first place, then to part with cash for some product they've never heard of, then to deliver on that product is crushingly difficult.
Also, getting anyone to believe in you and work for you or invest money into your schemes is equally difficult.
Ben Crookston of Train Heroic has spent the last few years doing all of these things – and doing them successfully.
A few years back, Ben, Josh (one of the co-founders of Train Heroic) and I would travel deep into Southern Illinois on weekends and give continuing education seminars to high school teachers – sort of as a starting point for marketing Train Heroic.
Josh would always sleep on the floor in our hotel because he's a freak.
Now, Train Heroic is probably best known within the CrossFit community for The Barbell WOD. This is where Dave Spitz of Cal Strength shares programming for weightlifting with the intention of getting CrossFit athletes exposure to some true progression in their snatch and clean & jerk.
Train Heroic originally started as a more prescriptive entity – giving pre-packaged programming and coaching to high school and college sports teams that needed it. However, over the course of their development, they realized that they had more power as a platform for coaches to share their programming and philosophy than as an entity prescribing reps and sets from above.
Now, coaches can develop their program in the Train Heroic marketplace, and athletes can receive coaching and programming from some of the top names in the business for a monthly fee.
Learn More About Ben & Train Heroic
[1:16] Why did Ben start Train Heroic and what is it?
- [4:18] Who is Ben Crookston?
[9:33] How Ben handles people that are not internally motivated.
[13:26] Techniques Ben uses to make goals clear and help people understand what they actually want.
[18:21] How Ben differentiates between outcome goals and actions goals.
[21:02] Ben talks about where Train Heroic started and where it is going.
[25:45] Who are some of the coaches offering programming on Train Heroic?
[27:30] Ben explains what creating and developing at start-up is like.
[34:26] How Ben got people to invest in his start up?
[38:10] Ben explains what it's like running a start-up and how's the work/life balance?
[43:40] What books are you reading and what sources do you pull frameworks from?
[49:26] What's next for Train Heroic?
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In this episode, Todd & Paul discuss the five "whys" of training.
At SLSC, we see a lot of people with a lot of different goals. Some are motivated primarily by aesthetics – they want to look good with their shirt off. Others are motivated by long-term health – they got some scary blood results back from their doctor or they have kids and want to be healthy long-term as their children grow up. There's also people who want to find their maximum physical potential in sport – whether that's in CrossFit or in something like distance running or rugby. And, to be completely honest, a lot of people have mixed goals or haven't fully investigated what they want. They may say that they want to lift more weight and get better over time, but they really want to look a certain way at the pool.
Each of these goals is equally valid. There's no value judgment on someone's "why" behind training.
However, the best practices for each of these goals is different.
We see a lot of confusion and conflation surrounding the way that people train for competition, the way people train for aesthetics, and the way people train for health.
There's a lot of information and advice floating around, a lot of which is being misapplied to people with different goals. A bodybuilding stage prep diet is a great way to get super lean for a competition, but a horrible way to prepare for a CrossFit competition or to lose weight for long-term health and wellness. A lactate endurance protocol is a great way to peak for a CrossFit competition, but is a horrible way to develop every day fitness for an over-stressed office worker.
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This is the first interview that we've done for the South Loop Strength & Conditioning podcast, and our guest is Liz Yerly of The Chicago Recovery Room.
Liz has a plethora of letters after her name: MPT (Master of Physical Therapy), ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer), LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) & CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist). While certifications don't necessarily mean much in the grand scheme of things, her devotion to continuing education gives her a unique perspective on both treating injured athletes and helping people maximize their performance.
Liz works as a physical therapist and also has relationships with local CrossFit gyms, the Association of Volleyball Professionals and the Chicago Performing Arts Team.
Learn More About Liz & The Chicago Recovery Room
Other links – Liz sent over a few more resources after the fact
- Difference in licensure between physical therapy, athletic training and massage therapy
- What kind of clients are treated by the Recovery Room?
- What is the relationship between recovery and soreness? What role does lymph play?
- What's the deal with the ice controversy? Does contrast therapy change this at all?
- When should active recovery be used and how much is too much?
Is there a reliable way to measure recovery – like HRV (heart rate variability)?
- What can people accomplish through self-care (foam rolling, stretching) and when should they get treated?
How can you differentiate between mobility issues and motor control issues?
- How much can psychosomatic effects add to chronic pain issues?
How can people differentiate between "pain" and "discomfort" when training?
- What are some things to consider when balancing training and recovery for long-term athletic development?
How do you convince motivated, Type A people that it's ok to take time off from training?
- What type of continuing education do you find valuable?
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