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Today’s Flex Diet Podcast is a bonus solocast. I’ll tell you my top five takeaways from the 2023 Raise the Bar conference where my wife Jodie and I had a fantastic time.

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Listen to hear:

  • [2:19] Going to live events

  • [6:37] What more happens in person
  • [8:54] Talks I enjoyed
  • [13:11] Tips for running an online training business

Referenced links:

Rock on!

Dr. Mike T Nelson

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Dr. Mike T Nelson

Dr. Mike T Nelson

PhD, MSME, CISSN, CSCS Carrick Institute Adjunct Professor Dr. Mike T. Nelson has spent 18 years of his life learning how the human body works, specifically focusing on how to properly condition it to burn fat and become stronger, more flexible, and healthier. He’s has a PhD in Exercise Physiology, a BA in Natural Science, and an MS in Biomechanics. He’s an adjunct professor and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He’s been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed and the results Mike gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.

  • PhD in Exercise Physiology
  • BA in Natural Science
  • MS in Biomechanics
  • Adjunct Professor in Human
  • Performance for Carrick Institute for Functional Neurology
  • Adjunct Professor and Member of American College of Sports Medicine
  • Instructor at Broadview University
  • Professional Nutritional
  • Member of the American Society for Nutrition
  • Professional Sports Nutrition
  • Member of the International Society for Sports Nutrition
  • Professional NSCA Member

[00:00:00] Dr Mike T Nelson: Welcome back to the Flex Diet Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Mike T. Nelson, and today on the podcast is just me. As I’m recording this, I’m getting ready to fly out very soon to the Real Coaches Summit, 2023 in Vegas. You can come see myself. Along with a huge list of other people, Stan Efferding, Alex Viada, Ali Gilbert, Dr. John, Mike, Jade, much many others over two days in Vegas.

[00:00:36] If you’re not able to be there in person they still have virtual recordings, so you can sit in your pajamas at home, on your couch and watch all. So go to Real Coaches Summit. I’ll have a link in the podcast here below. Full disclosure, I don’t make any money off of the link, but as we’ll talk about coming up here, I do believe that going to live events if you can swing it is amazing and I would highly recommend it.

[00:01:06] If you can’t, I totally understand, and you can also get the recordings. The presentations I know most of the presenters, a couple of ’em I haven’t met in person yet but I know all the information is gonna be really good. Today on the podcast we’re talking about the Raise the Bar event that I went to literally this past weekend in Dallas, Texas, and it was awesome.

[00:01:33] It’s a huge shout out. Big thanks to both Nick and and, and their staff for all the work that they put in to doing the event. It was really, really good. Again, full disclosure, nobody asked me to do this podcast. They don’t make any money from promoting the event. My wife and I went and we paid for our own ticket and airfare and hotel and all that kind of stuff.

[00:01:56] So I do understand that going to live events does cost. But here are kind of my five top takeaways from the Raise the Bar seminar, and they will be having it again. It’ll be in February, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. Again don’t know the exact dates yet, but put that on your calendar. Something to look forward to.

[00:02:19] I would highly recommend you check it out. My top five reasons and takeaways from the event number one. As I just mentioned, going to live events is super fun. I know with 2020 and all the events that happened there, I did do initially in probably in May of that year, I won’t say the organization, but I did three day seminar through an advanced nutrition organization and the conference, which was virtual, was great.

[00:02:50] I mean, the information was awesome. The presentations were pretty good. I got to see some well-known researchers that I haven’t seen speak before many of them from, other parts of the country, that it’s much harder for them to show up at conferences, especially. Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the world where you’re literally a 12 to 15 hour plane flight away just to get to a conference.

[00:03:14] So I totally understand that a lot of those people can’t make it to conferences, at least in the US. And it was great to see them speak, but I also realized after the first day, and I had signed up for three full days, oh man, it was like pulling teeth and I didn’t even go to many of the talks.

[00:03:32] The second and third day, I cherry picked a few of ’em and watched them. Again, the information was great and I definitely learned some things from it, but man, like three full days of information was a little much. I kind of maxed out at around a day and a half, and then I watched the other lectures at different times.

[00:03:51] So if I were to do that again, I would take the recordings and I would probably not watch the event live and I would watch the recordings. For me personally, I’d probably just watch one each day. But again, the benefit now is that we can do live events. The downside is it is an expense. So for example, both my, as I mentioned, my wife and I went to the Raise the Bar seminar this past weekend.

[00:04:19] So you gotta buy two flights and you’ve gotta get there. So you’ve got Ubers and transfers. A hotel and then the ticket and then food. So it definitely is an expense but I like to view that as more of an investment and not necessarily just money coming out of your bottom line. I know for myself, like different events that I’ve been to and been fortunate enough to present at, not all of them, but I would say a vast majority of ’em in time.

[00:04:52] Probably paid for themselves. It’s hard because you can’t directly look at events and say, oh, I made an extra thousand, 2000, 10,000, whatever, from a certain event. But I also know the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve been able to meet in person has gone a long way and has been super beneficial.

[00:05:12] So if you can swing it, I do think going to live events is definitely prefer. You can check out the podcast I did here with Ali Gilbert, where we went into all of the pros of doing that, take away number two from Raise the Bar seminars past weekend. I forgot how much fun it is to laugh with your friends

[00:05:34] Some of ’em I have been able to see. Shout out to Jeb and Dean every other week or so since we’re working on a project. But many of ’em I haven’t even seen much virtually or talked to all that much. So be able to see them in person again was awesome. Even if it was for a very short time.

[00:05:52] I know some of the presenters had to fly in like Tony and Lisa were there for a day and then had to a fly out right away the next day. I know that was true for some of the other presenters also, which I totally understand. But it was great to see everyone in person and just to laugh, go out to lunch, go out to dinner.

[00:06:11] We had lots of really great food and we hit up Terry Blacks in Dallas. We’ve been to the Terry Blacks in Austin. If you like barbecue, highly, highly recommend them. It was amazing. I had a huge beef rib. That was awesome. That’s by far my favorite at Terry. So being out there with my wife Dr. John, Mike and his wonderful wife, and yeah, just laughing with friends.

[00:06:37] Super fun and unrelated, and what I find is in person that happens a lot more. So that was very fun. I take away number three from Raise the Bar Seminar 2023. It was cool to see that many dedicated fitness professionals show up to a live event. And I know that’s no small feat to accomplish. So again, shout out to Derek and Nick for all their efforts of doing that.

[00:07:04] This was their second year doing it. So it does get slightly easier one year to the next, but it’s never an easy feat to get people to travel, to put their butt in a seat for especially three days in a row. But it was great. I think they had maybe 150, 160 or more people there in person. I know they had a fair amount of people virtual also, and that was really cool to see.

[00:07:26] Cuz sometimes I think when you’re doing online training, especially, and if you follow some of the negative media, it can be easy to think that, eh, the world’s all going to hell. Trainers don’t care anymore. No one’s taken it as a profession. And it was nice to see a bunch of people where that is definitely not.

[00:07:45] They’re doing it as a profession. They’re getting better at their craft. They were paying attention, they were taking notes, and they’re going back to take action to make themselves better and their clients better in the process. So that was awesome and very reassuring to see. Number four, I’m still biased towards direct communication, and I primarily do that via a newsletter, which you can sign up.

[00:08:13] Shameless plug, go to and you can get on the Fitness Insider Newsletter for free, no cost, and if you don’t like it, you can just unsubscribe and that’s totally fine. Again, if you have any specific questions, that’s gonna be by far and away the best place to reach me. Just sign up, send me a note.

[00:08:33] Heck, you could even unsubscribe at that point if you really wanted to. But I think direct communication, especially going. into the future is gonna be even more important. John Goodman did a very, a good talk on communication and sort of trends is what’s going on with fitness marketing.

[00:08:54] There’s lots of great talks on marketing aspect. Jill Coleman did one on launches. Don Saladino did a great one. What, how, what his business runs. Luca Hoar did one about content creation. , I’m probably forgetting some other people as I’m talking about it right now. Jordan CT did a great one at the end of the day with just some questions and what he’s doing more on social media.

[00:09:17] But across the board a lot of them ran newsletters at the same time. So even Jordan ct, who does a lot of stuff on social does a newsletter too. The nice part is you can communicate directly with people. You’re not subject to an algorithm. You’ve been around long enough. I remember back when you had pretty good organic reach through Facebook, through just your normal profile page, your personal page, not even a business page.

[00:09:44] And then they changed that right after Facebook became a publicly traded company. you can look through all the changes in Instagram, pushing people to shorter reels and then a little bit longer reels. Then competition with TikTok and stuff that didn’t really make it like Vine. And again, my biased opinion still is direct communication is going to be the best way.

[00:10:09] Now with ai, it seems like artificial intelligence, marketing firms and content creation is literally. everywhere. Or maybe just because I clicked on a few of those ads the past month or so, that’s why I’m seeing all of ’em. But my bias to guess about the future content is gonna be everywhere, even more than what it is now.

[00:10:32] Once you can generate content that is pass. I know like search engines and stuff are gonna try to throttle that and not allow it, but I don’t know how they’re gonna be able to differentiate it. But I think it’s gonna be a long time, if ever they’re gonna replace that personal conversation with a real human.

[00:10:54] And I think that is going to become even more and more important, so as content is literally probably gonna explode even. The reality for most people is they’re gonna pick their handful of experts or hire someone and they’re gonna follow that particular person. So that person is gonna serve as a filter to filter out all the other information.

[00:11:20] Now again, there’s pros and cons to that. And a perfect world should people spend their free time reading research and trying to go to primary sources and to figure it out. Yeah, I think that’d be. , but I also understand that that’s that reality. If you’ve got a busy family, you’ve got a job, maybe you’ve got kids, you’ve got hobbies.

[00:11:40] And the truth is I do the same thing with other aspects of my business. I have a CPA who I hire and pay lots of money. He tells me what to do with my taxes. I don’t really sit around and read the tax code. I may ask him, Hey, why are we doing this? And then try to get educated a little. , same thing for technical stuff.

[00:12:00] We just flipped all of our servers over to a new hosting and the tech person we work with said, Hey, I think this will be better for you. And I just said, okay, sure. Let’s do it. He’s been great. He’s worked for us for many years and I trust him. I didn’t even really look any further into it. So I think for fitness and nutrition, it’s gonna be the same thing and it’s probably gonna intensify even more.

[00:12:26] The takeaway of that is if you’re running a personal training business, I think having a way to communicate to your customers or potential customers directly as an authentic real human being is gonna be even more important. Now, again, you can apply that to social media, you can apply it to YouTube videos.

[00:12:49] That concept can be applied wherever. It’s just the distribution network is gonna be. Again, my bias is I like direct communication. That’s not subject to an algorithm. The downside is, it is harder to get email addresses now than it was 10 years ago because a lot of people write crappy newsletters that nobody wants to read

[00:13:11] Put in time, learn your craft. Be an actual human being. Try to write, make it a little bit more info. Again, that’s what I attempts to do on my newsletter. It was cool at the event many people came up who were on my newsletter and, and said Hi and gave me some nice compliments about writing, which was very sweet of them.

[00:13:29] So yeah, newsletters, direct communication, I think is going to be much bigger in the future. And number five, last item here as we wrap up. For me, it was a very cool reminder that I have a great. I get to do stuff that I enjoy. I sit around, drink coffee, read research, translate that into the newsletter, into different products such as heart rate variability education course, flex diet certification fizz Flex certification.

[00:13:58] We also have the Gonzo Grip Program with Adam Glass. And for me, it’s awesome that I get to take all this knowledge, experience, research, my own trials, failures success. And package it into a system and a framework that can help other people and shorten that time that it takes. And I think it was Derek Mendoza said this, that in essence what people are paying for is speed.

[00:14:28] Like yes, you could learn nutrition, you could go back and do an undergraduate. I did mine in Bachelor of Arts, natural Science, do a Master’s, and then I did my PhD in metabolic Flexibility through the exercise physiology. I would not recommend that approach. If you want to get a PhD, great. Go for it to learn nutrition, probably not the fastest approach.

[00:14:49] However, I’ve tried to distill all that knowledge and, 15 plus years of coaching clients into a system. Then you can literally take and go ahead and apply. Same thing with the advanced stuff through the physiologic flexibility certification. You can take that information from my experience in reading of the literature and back.

[00:15:09] And learn it in a fraction of the time. Apply it to your clients and make their lives better and you can earn a nice income from it. So it was nice to see that. I have a really cool job as a reminder even working with one-on-one clients and everything else that I’ve got going on. So that was good to have time to reflect back on there.

[00:15:30] And I think, I can’t remember which presenter talked. , making sure you have an actual goal for your business and what direction you want to go and what that looks like. So there you go. Those are my five top takeaways from the Raise the Bar seminar. If you are able to go next year, again, I would highly recommend it.

[00:15:52] If you still have time, you want to come see myself and other people present in. As of this recording, it’s coming up very soon, March 6th and seventh, 2023. We’ll have info below. You can get the recordings of that also online. Yeah, and huge thanks to both Nick and Derek for all their work, all their staff that they put into it for three days, all the presenters who came from all over.

[00:16:18] It was awesome to see lots of old friends again, hang. And share some great food and laughs together. So if you can do a live event, highly recommend it. If not getting information, we’ll still move you forward. Thank you so much and stay tuned for more podcasts here coming up. See you.

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