An Interview with Fraser Quelch

One of my biggest inspiration in the industry, is none other that the charismatic leader who plays one of the most important role at TRX Training (also known as Fitness Anywhere Inc).  Check out Sean’s interview with Fraser here:

From ATLAS PERFORMANCE 

Today head coach Sean Connolly asks Fraser Quelch, the director of training and development for Fitness Anywhere® and the creator of the TRX training program, about his career in health and fitness.

Fraser is an expert in functional training and endurance athletics, has presented at events worldwide and is featured in 19 fitness DVDs. Fraser holds a bachelors degree in physical education. In 2011, Fraser was awarded the international honour of being crowned the IDEA Program Director Of The Year Award.

How did you first get started in the health and fitness industry?
I have always been passionate about sport from a very young age. Training was part of it and it was natural that I pursue something in the field in my education. I began personal training at Gold’s Gym in Vancouver, Canada a long time ago right after University and my career slowly developed from there

What has travel taught you about your body as well as your health?
Sure – in short – travel messes with your body and your health.

BIG time zone changes wreak havoc on your natural rhythms and changes in routines often make it difficult to keep your training on the rails. Additionally different food from different cultures can also effect the quality of your nutrition or upset your digestive system (so to speak) In terms of training, the Suspension Trainer has been a true godsend as no matter where I am I can get a great workout. The hardest part is the psychological element of it. Here are a few tips to ease the pain of international travel:

Start trying to adjust your schedule the day before you leave. This makes the transition to a vastly different time zone a little less of a shock to the system and usually allows for better sleep while in the air.  Try to go to a grocery store either on the way to or right after checking into your hotel. This ensures that you have some control over breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

Bring your Suspension Trainer with you and before leaving check for parks, interesting running routes or other activities that your locale will allow for. Traveling for work is often a great opportunity to try some new things that are not available where you live. Case in point, facing a long flight delay last year after FILEX I was able to sneak in a surf at Manly Beach (a real treat for me as the surfing is not so good in Banff where I live). Case #2 While in Beijing with a flight not leaving until late in the afternoon I hired a driver to take me to the Great Wall and hiked for a few hours.
Wherever you are – the first day get up with the sun (no matter how hard that might be) and either simply sit and pull in the morning rays or practice yoga – This is a tip I learned from Paul Chek as we were commiserating over our respective travel schedules. It really works to adjust your body’s rhythms.
Try to get a light workout in as soon as you arrive at your destination. This will also help to get you adjusted to the new time.
Relish being home – wherever you live is a blessing that most people take for granted When I has been fortunate enough to sit and have dinner with you and many other international health and wellness experts, we often mentioned a number of those who have come before us that have left a mark on us and the industry. Who out there has had a profound affect on you in the way of your education?

It is safe to say that I continue to learn from almost everybody. There are so many amazing minds out there that if we keep ours open – the sources of knowledge are almost endless. I learn from the people in my own sessions, my colleagues, even the stuff I observe around me and reflect on. Biggest influences – Gary Gray, Chuck Wolf, Lenny Parracino, Gray Cook, John Berardi, Alwyn Cosgrove, Chris Frankel, Todd Durkin, Anthony Carey, Justin Price, Michol Dalcourt, Richard Boyd, Thomas Meyers… This list could get pretty exhaustive but that’s a good start

What are some of the things that trainers need to be aware of when training their clients?
The single biggest thing we need to be aware of is that what we provide has to be outrageously fun and map to the passions of our clients. This is a mistake that as an industry we continue to make and our results reflect it. Trust me – the stats are staggering in terms of how ineffective we actually are. We continually make the assumption that our clients are just like us… THEY ARE NOT!!! – in most cases they don’t like exercise and are there because they feel like they have to be or should be. We are all bonded by play though and if we can wrap our performance based training in a layer of play that resonates with the client then we will start to do some amazing things

Is there a particular part of the world that you enjoy the most besides the mother-land (Canada)?
The world is an awfully big place with pretty much endless corners to explore. I love New Zealand and Australia. The people are kind of like Canadians but with better tans. Very down to earth, fun loving people who have a real thirst for life. I really enjoy the old provincial feel of northern Italy (the climbing in the dolomites doesn’t hurt either) and I find Asia fascinating. Home is in the mountains though and I always love coming back to the Canadian Rockies.

What is one thing that the health and fitness industry needs to work on the most? This would refer to the fads going around as well as the quality of trainer. What are your thoughts?

I think I will have to refer back to my answer to the question above re: the integration of play. This is a massive issue and will continue to be until we collectively take our rose colored glasses off and address it. Here is the IHRSA stat that prompted me to get pretty passionate about this and develop my Changing the Game concept.

17% of North Americans have a fitness membership of some description (gyms, tennis clubs etc and this is the highest percentage in the world) only 10% of those people use their membership once per week or more (this is a pretty low hurdle and bare enough to make any kind of meaningful impact).
This means that we are having a meaningful impact in the lives of less than 2% of the population!!!

Clearly something is broken and nobody is trying to fix it – mostly we just cover it up and hope that nobody notices while we continue on doing the same thing.

Is there any piece of advice you want to leave our up and coming trainers with? Famous last words perhaps?

Follow your passions and don’t be afraid to leap for your dreams – As you’re doing that though do not lose sight of the fact that it’s all about having an impact on the lives of others. If you can do this, your own stuff will follow in step and probably surpass what you could have imagined

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