Blog: Living It

Ever since I became a trainer I have always surrounded myself with the best of the best. If I read an article and thought I could learn more from the author I would hop on a plane and knock on his office door. Whatever it took! Nowadays, I take a less annoying approach. 😀  The result is I have a team of colleagues and friends who are on the forefront of nutrition, psychology, supplementation, physical therapy, physical training, you name the topic and there is a strong probability I have access to the top people in that field.  It is a true honor to be able to pick these masters’ brains. It literally saves thousands of hours of research.  Today I am going to introduce you to one of these masters.

Dr. Bret Emery

I met Dr. Emery about 8 years ago.  I heard of the incredible results he was getting with clients by addressing not just nutrition but the mind as well. With a Doctorate in Psychology and as a former professional cyclist, this guy lives it and knows what it takes to get someone to go from good to great.  I have referred numerous clients to him over the years and even though he recently relocated to Georgia I still refer clients to work with him through his online coaching program. He is that good!

Now grab a pen and paper and listen in as I ask Bret what it takes to achieve lasting physical change.

Billy: Dr. Emery, you have been extremely successful helping others achieve a better body.  What are your keys to successful fat loss?

Dr. Emery: Well Billy, the key in my mind is to help the client have a good understanding of what it takes to make a change in body composition. The successful client knows that there is not a quick fix, magic pill, or super special exercise gadget that is going to give them lasting physique change. I have heard you say that challenge creates change and that is very true when it comes to making changes in our physique. The challenge may be physical as in learning how to do a proper squat, or the challenge may be more mental as when one must conquer their irrational belief that they will need to starve to death in order to lose weight. The focus for the client, and my job when working with them, is to guide where they need to be challenging themselves next in order to change and progress toward their goal. Through this constant guided progression comes a new found understanding of how their body works and how they have the power to change it.

Billy: What are the most common mistakes you see people making when it comes to losing fat?

Dr. Emery: When it comes to losing fat, the number one mistake I see people make is not having a plan.  How many times do people go to the gym without a plan of what they are going to do until they get in there?  This is where a personal trainer can be very helpful.  The client has to show up and the trainer has the workout plan ready to go.  Or when it comes to nutrition,  not having a plan of what food will be eaten at the next meal?  Food planning takes a bit more time, but the payoff is exponentially greater. Food is like a hammer, it can be used to destroy or build your body. Make the wrong choice and you can be doing damage to your body every day. So the take home lesson is to have a plan. Don’t worry about whether the plan is perfect or not, and don’t throw in the towel if your day does not go exactly according to the plan. I keep in the front of my mind the saying that imperfect action is far better than perfect inaction. So make that plan. Then watch the plan unfold. Learn from what went right as well as what didn’t, and then improve the plan for tomorrow.

“Food is like a hammer, it can be used to destroy or build your body.”-Dr. Emery

Billy: A lot of people lose weight and then gain it back again and again. How can people create lasting physical change?

Dr. Emery: Yes, the figures on weight re-gain are staggering. They are worse than drug or alcohol relapse. However, there are a small and growing number of people who are taking the weight off and keeping it off for years and years.The elemental difference is that these people are making lifestyle changes. Changes they will adopt for the rest of their life. They realize that losing the weight is just a small sliver of the journey. They are able to see that the way they were living is what drove their weight up and by making some small but powerful changes to how they choose to live every day they can experience a much different life. The changes are in the realm of how and when they sleep, eat, drink, and exercise. If the right changes are made the result will be lasting weight loss. There is hope, and for everyone who says it can’t be done I have a list of people who are willing to tell you how they have been able to do it. I think in time we will see the relapse rate decline. There is a powerful movement in the fitness and nutrition industry and it is building momentum.

Billy: A lot of people look for the answer in a supplement. Are there any supplements that you think everyone should take?

Dr. Emery: Yes, a lot of people would like to believe that the answer to lasting physical change is contained in the latest supplement to hit the market. I am not a believer in taking supplements without reason. I am however, a believer in taking a supplement when there is a known deficit. So I advocate testing before taking. People should be tested for their deficiencies and then supplement to optimize their levels. And then re-test to make sure levels are maintaining on the supplement.  So the goal should be to test regularly and then supplement and deficiencies to optimum levels. Exercise can create a demand on our nutritional system and without supplementation deficiencies can develop. Two common areas impacted by intense exercise are the adrenal system and the thyroid. Testing for optimal function in these areas can be important if someone is not seeing the results that they would expect from their weight loss efforts. I am also seeing deficiencies in vitamin D, the B vitamins, and especially in men, Zinc. If I had to recommend one supplement that did not require testing before administration that would be a high quality multi-vitamin.  I stress the need here for a high quality product with pharmaceutical grade manufacturing.  I know you have done a lot of research in this area and have found the best company for your supplementation needs, and it is important to point out that the company you chose does not sell vitamins in the grocery store. I would not recommend anybody supplement with grocery store brand vitamins.

Billy: Mindset is a critical part of success and you employ this with great success with your clients. How does someone begin creating the proper mindset to achieve their physical goals?

Dr. Emery: It all starts in the mind. It starts with a single thought.That thought may come when they look at themselves in the mirror, or it may be a reaction to hearing their neighbor just ran a 10K, or maybe their brother had a heart attack.Whatever the event, we all have a defining moment – that moment when we become aware of your own health, and the need to improve it. It is from this initial thought that we begin developing the mindset that will determine whether we achieve our goals. My work with clients focuses on increasing positive thoughts, and reducing negative attributions. We start this with a body composition analysis. The client must look at their body not with negativity of where they are right now, but with the positive outlook of where they are going to take it. They must begin to see the body they desire before they can ever achieve it.We must believe before we can achieve. I don’t move forward designing a weight loss program with a client until we have established this critical positive mindset. I wait until I hear them say words that let me know they are thinking about their future body. They may say “when I reach my goal I was thinking about doing a triathlon”, or “I have a closet full of clothes and I am looking forward to wearing them again”.These thoughts are the critical first step in creating the positive mindset that will propel a client toward their goals.

Thank you Billy for taking the time to talk with me about these critical pieces to achieving physical greatness, and I look forward to seeing who will win this year’s Superman and Superwoman challenge!

Billy: Thank you Dr. Emery! You are the man!

If you would like to work with Dr. Emery either in-person or through his distance coaching program then get more information by clicking here