Episode 147 – Rob Dionne


Alright, what’s up everyone? Welcome back to the FIT2FAT2FIT Experience Podcast. It’s me, your host, Drew Manning. Thanks again for tuning in to the Podcast, look for another great episode. I hope you guys really do enjoy this Podcast as one of the many platforms that I get to communicate with you. The cool thing about Podcasts for me is, I don’t think there has ever been a time in history where we have so much access to all kinds of information. It’s at the tip of your fingers. You don’t have to pay money for it. All of these Podcasts are free for you to listen. It’s amazing, in my opinion. On the FIT2FAT2FIT Experience Podcasts, if none of you have heard of this Podcast before or have no idea what it’s about, obviously most people know me personally from my FIT2FAT2FIT Experience. I tie in those lessons that I learned from gaining 75 pounds and losing it into each and every episode, where I pick the brains of experts and doctors and influencers in this industry that are out there making an impact and helping people. I take those lessons that I learned and tailor the questions to helping you, the listener, apply these lessons in your life as well, so you can truly embrace the lifestyle change. That’s what this Podcast is about. Today on the Podcast, we have a good friend of mine. His name is Rob Dionne and I have actually been on his Podcast before. He is the host of Open Sky Fitness Podcast. His co-host is his beautiful wife, Devon, who is pregnant and three months away from having their first baby. We get into that, as well. I give him some fatherly advice on adjusting to life as a dad. He is also a lifestyle and fitness expert based out of LA. He used to be an actor, as well. We talk about his journey of going from acting to personal training. He specializes in helping busy people and entrepreneur’s get out from behind their desk and carve out time to create a better quality of life for themselves and their families. You might have heard Rob recently on the Side Hustle Podcast or Million Pound Mission Podcast discussing his views on why the traditional approach to weight loss is a waste of time. I think a lot of you that know me know I have a similar philosophy. Now, let’s go hang out with Rob.

Drew: Alright, Rob, welcome to the show, man. How are you doing today

Rob: I’m good, Drew. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate this.

Drew: Dude, my pleasure. Thanks so much for coming on. First question I have for you man, how long have you been in this industry? What were you doing before this?

Rob: I got involved in the health industry. I have a hard time labeling it the health industry when I first started, because that was not at all what I think I was doing. Back in 2007, that’s basically when I made the transition. I moved to Los Angeles in 2005 as an actor. Before that I was in New York for 3 years as an actor. So, I spent about 5 years trying to be an actor in the industry. I’m not a bad looking guy, but obviously looks does not make a difference when it comes to making it in this business. After about 5 years, I realized I don’t think this is going to pan out. I’ve got to figure something else out and in the process of trying to make it as an actor, I had started training some guy that was in a play with me. I had to take my shirt off in this play and I had gotten all ripped for this part in the play. One of the actors that was in it with me, he goes, ‘How did you get to look like that?’ I go, ‘Well, I work out, I eat healthy.’ At least, I thought I was eating healthy at the time. I was basically just starving myself. He said, ‘Would you show me how to do that?’ I was like, ‘Well, I’m not really a trainer.’ He goes, ‘It doesn’t matter, I will pay you.’ Deal! If you are going to pay me, I will take it, right? So, I ended up training that guy and in the process I got my personal training certification, did advanced certification and such and started really digging into the fitness world. He lost 100 pounds in that first year.

Drew: Wow.

Rob: Which was …. I was like, there is something really rewarding about this. Then ever since then, I’ve been learning and applying, learning and applying, learning and applying on myself, as well as on my clients. And here we are, that was 11 years ago. So, now it’s 11 years later and we land here, Drew Manning!

Drew: *laughing* Is that where the transition happened? You stopped acting at that point and started taking on personal training? Or did you still act after that?

Rob: I was doing three things at once. I was a personal trainer. I was an actor and I was a waiter. And I was making all of my money as a waiter. I was waiting tables, I was managing a restaurant and a bartender, technically.

Drew: *laughing* Wow.

Rob: I was like, all of those things and I was building a personal training business and I was trying to make it as an actor. It’s a really weird thing. I ended up taking this course. When you are a personal trainer, you immediately step foot into being a business person. You have to learn about business. So, I ended up taking this …. it was called “A Millionaire Mind “. I don’t know if you have ever heard of it? It’s kind of popular, but I took the seminar. One of the things the guy said really landed on me and I needed to apply it. He said, ‘If you have your foot on too many paths, you’ll never make any progress on any of them.’ So for me, the way that made sense was as a waiter, I didn’t care about being a waiter. But as an actor and a personal trainer, I had to make a choice. What was going to be the path that was going to lead me down a life that I was going to be happy with? And happiness for me meant security, responsibility, it meant not feeling like I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know where I am going to be in five years. So, that security meant I was going to move away from acting, which gave me a lot of anxiety. It was a hell of a lot of anxiety being an actor and relying on if someone likes you, it’s how whether or not you get the job. I guess as a personal trainer, it’s the same thing. I mean as a Podcast, it’s the same thing. People have to like you in order to listen and stay listening, but as an actor, it’s really tough. It’s a real ego shot every day of the week to be able to handle that. You really do have to have a real sense of self and a sense of security. Which I guess I didn’t really have at the time. So therefore, I moved into being a personal trainer and really diving head first into that business and I love it. I really enjoy it, I enjoy helping people and I enjoy helping myself. That’s …. as I went and moved into that field, I realized the importance of it within myself. If I hadn’t discovered this …. if I didn’t discover nutrition, health, a lifestyle around all of that, then I would have gone down a path that my parents took and are still on. My family all took, because they all still live on Long Island, where I am from, they all took that same path and all of them are struggling with their health in some way or another. So, that was a real fork in the road for me.

Drew: Hmm. We will get back to that in a second, because I want to talk about your family, but let’s back up a little bit. Let me ask you this, growing up were you …. you said you were in shape for this play, were you kind of always in shape? Or were you overweight at some point in time, or were you always kind of athletic?

Rob: As a kid, I was always in sports. It was something that my parents always made me do, play sports. When I was really young, it was soccer and baseball and then as I got older, I wasn’t really a team sport kind of kid, so I moved into being a swimmer and a wrestler. I did that from junior high to high school and then when I graduated high school, I went to a community college for a couple of years because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. That’s when I discovered acting. I did that for 10 years. So as an actor, when I went to acting school, I went to a conservatory, which is a college for artists, basically. They don’t have sports teams, so I didn’t have a sports to do. I just kept getting more and more unhealthy. I would do what my mom taught me how to do, which was when you get fat, you starve yourself or diet down. That’s what I learned as a wrestler as well.

Drew: *laughing* Yeah.

Rob: When you get fat, you diet down and then you just keep repeating that cycle. So, when that guy discovered me in that play, I had just dieted down to that and then after that play, I gained all the weight right back.

Drew: Ok, gotcha.

Rob: It was a complete vanity thing. It wasn’t like I was doing it in a smart way. That’s what I mean, in the beginning I wasn’t helping …. even though he lost a hundred pounds. I probably wasn’t helping him all that much, other than him being inspired to work out more often. But yeah, that’s kind of the journey it took. You will probably see it on my website. I was at 30 years old when I got married. That was when I realized I have a problem here. Like, I really do have a problem. I always thought of myself as being athletic and I got caught off guard. My wife took a picture of me standing at a waterfall and I saw my gut hanging out. Maybe in like month three of your weight gain, that’s kind of where I felt like I was. I was really disappointed in myself and kind of disgusted. I realized I have to not only make a change in how I work out and how I eat, but also my lifestyle around all of that. That’s been the journey over the last 10 years or 11 years for me.

Drew: But I think it’s really powerful to have those moments, for everybody. And it’s not always about vanity, it’s not always about weight gain. Sometimes it’s a wake up call with Type 2 Diabetes or some serious health condition to where it kind of scares you into, I’ve got to make some changes. I think everybody hits that at some point, right? For some people, it sometimes happens too late in life or later on life when it’s harder to make changes. But I think those moments are really powerful for all of  us to have. I think one of the questions I want to ask you next is, does that carry over into you becoming a trainer/coach, to have that empathy for your clients. Because you can kind of say, ‘Look, I know what you are going through. I’ve been there. It’s hard and I have had to find a way to make this a lifestyle change.’ Because you knew how to do it in a diet format, where you were like ok, I’m going to diet down. I know how to get there, I just don’t know how to maintain that. Does that carry over for you having that experience?

Rob: Yes, and I think it’s in a different way than maybe you would think. It’s more about the psychological aspect of it, in that I definitely struggle with anxiety around body image. I struggle with anxiety around food. I struggle with depression in a way that I understand that mentality when I am working with a client. Like if you fire hose a client with information, and it’s different, there are different people that come to you potentially than would come to me. Also, there are different people out there that are phenomenal trainers. They only train athletes. If you are at that level, you can’t talk to somebody about psychology. It’s just about being ‘A’ type personality. It’s just about getting the job done and it’s about really achieving. But when you are talking to people about changing a lifestyle and it’s attached to emotions around eating, it’s attached to body image, it’s attached to a whole bunch of baggage that you got from your parents, that’s how I think I relate to my clients.

Drew: Yeah.

Rob: Maybe I don’t struggle with the heavy, heavy weight, like you went through with your clients, which helped you really bridge that gap, which I think is really amazing. Not only smart, because it’s landed you where you are business wise, but also empathetically for you to do that with your clients. It was such an amazing kind of olive branch, to say I am willing to do that with you. I never took that path and I talked to you about that on my show when I interviewed you. I don’t think …. I don’t think I have the ego for that. I don’t think my ego would be able to take that. I think I would have a real hard time. I imagine it’s like …. it’s almost like those planes that dive into the fires and they drop the water or stuff on the fire? I don’t think I would be able to pull out.

Drew: *laughing*

Rob: This is my gaining weight, that’s me dropping into the fire. Then you got to pull out and you got to get healthy again. I don’t know if I would be able to pull out at that point. I don’t ever want to go there, because my fear is that I wouldn’t be able to

Drew: That’s a good reason.

Rob: The thing is I know that about myself, so what I do is I just …. I needed to create a lifestyle for myself that was going to keep me healthy. A  lot of that is fear of ending up like my family members. Like you said, we can talk about that in just a little bit.

Drew: Yeah, we will get to that in a second. Let’s back up to your story a little bit, so you trained this guy and you had awesome success, then from there did you start working for yourself or for a gym? Or taking on more clients, how did you build up your business to where it is today?

Rob: Yeah, that’s a good question that I think a lot of people are always wondering, especially first time personal trainers when they first get started. The way I did it was probably very backwards to what most people would do. I didn’t want to ever work in a box gym. I didn’t want to work in a 24 hour Fitness or even a Gold’s Gym. My wife worked out, she trained people. She is a gyrotonic instructor at Sports Club LA, which now got bought out by Equinox. She was a trainer there and she would tell me how much money they would take from their trainers. They are starting out at $75 an hour for a client that comes in, but the trainer only gets paid I think $15. It was bananas. I’m like, well the trainer is putting all this time into building customer relations and doing all this work, why would I want to ever do that. Well, it’s obviously because of the traffic walking through the door. So, what I did was, at that same seminar that I told you about earlier that talked about the fork in the road and you have to make a choice, they said that if you are going to create a business for yourself, you need to become the resident expert about everyone that you know. That’s what you need to do and that’s what you did by gaining weight and losing it. You created a profile for yourself that showed everyone what you were capable of doing. Not only with yourself but also with your clients and that’s really smart. So, what I did at the time was, I knew that I had learned enough. What I did was just in terms of picking up clients, to really make them guinea pigs for me, I put an ad on CraigsList and I said …. I didn’t say new personal trainer, I said, “Personal Trainer. Getting a new certification. Wants to apply these new techniques on clientele. Giving a discounted rate.” I put it for $20 an hour. Nobody applied. Crickets, nobody messaged me back. So, my wife actually is the one who made the recommendation. She said, ‘Rob, it’s too cheap. Double the price.’ And that’s what I did. I doubled the price and I immediately started getting people emailing me. The next thing I knew, I had 5 or 6 clients that I was working with and practicing on. I crushed my personal training certification course and just really did apply all that stuff and learned a hell of a lot. I didn’t know a lot about nutrition at that time, so that was my Achilles heel. So what I did was, I had a best friend of mine that I was in college with, his name is Jeff Meacham. He was the first guy on one of my Podcasts, one of my co-host of my Podcast. He’s now on that show, Black’ish. If anybody watches that show, he plays Josh, the white guy on that show and he’s hilarious. So I said to Jeff, he’s just always been overweight. I’ve known Jeff going on 20 years now, over 20 years. He’s always been overweight, he’s never had a six pack. He’s always been an athlete, but he’s always been one of those endomorph athletes, kind of big and bulky. So, I said to Jeff, ‘Look, your wife is a holistic nutrition counselor. I am a personal trainer. I will train you for free for 3 months, but you have to do everything I tell you to do. I’m going to talk to Christy, your wife, who I’ve also had on my show. We are going to put together a plan for you, but you have to stick to it. Otherwise you are wasting both of our times and we are going to document every step of the way.’ So, we did. We took pictures of him every step of the way. He did a blog, he did some video stuff. We got him from …. in 12 weeks he lost 22 pounds and for the first time and only time in his life, he had a six pack.

Drew: Wow.

Rob: It was like the coolest thing ever. I documented it every step of the way. On Facebook, we only really had Facebook back then. There wasn’t any Twitter, there was no Instagram back then, so everything was on Facebook. My clients started rolling in and that was it. All I needed to do was prove that I could do what I said I could do and show everybody the process. Then people started paying me for that Sky Fit Challenge and I still have that today. It’s taken on many forms throughout the process. Then I would host …. whenever my client base would get low, and this is a really good application for any new trainers. Whenever my client base would start to get low, I would host a contest where I would give away a free 12 weeks for one lucky person. I would have like 12-15 people send me emails, put in an application. They  would have certain things they were responsible for doing, then I would pick one person and I would send them through the challenge again. And I would do the same thing and they would crush and I would document the whole process and again, a flood of new clients would come in.

Drew: Yeah.

Rob: That’s what I did for the first 2-3 years as I was really kind of getting my footing in the business. So, I never …. every single client I had for the first 3 years, I trained them outside in the park. I never trained anybody inside. I live in Los Angeles, everything is hills and balls. Anything we could use outside, we utilized it and I carried it all in my backpack. It was pretty awesome.

Drew: So, here is a funny story, and I love that by the way. I will tell you why in a second, but basically my story when I first became a personal trainer was very similar. Ads on Craigslist, I didn’t work for a big box gym, because I saw how much I was going to not make. *laughing* I did the ads on Craigslist. I did $25 an hour. I did get clients. I think the $20 point was too low on the threshold. But I live in Utah, it’s different. I remember one person telling me, ‘$25 for an hour? That seems really expensive.’ I was like, ‘What? Really? Do you have any idea what it would cost if you went to a gym?’ It’s just a different mentality out here in Utah. But yeah, I took on new clients through Craigslist initially. Very interesting story. So, that was the first 2-3 years, and here is the problem that I think a lot of trainers run into. They are like, ‘Oh, I’m going to make so much money.’ Which is good, but you realize there is only so many hours in the day and you can only fit in so many clients and you travel around to wherever. Then you are like, ok, I only get paid when I work. When I don’t work, I don’t get paid. How do I maximize this? Maybe keep going with your story as to how you transitioned this into a business, because it’s been 10 years now, right?

Rod: Good, I am glad. This is actually a fun conversation. I had no idea what we were going to talk about, but this is interesting for me because it takes me through the process of what I really did. So, those first few years, it was all about building one on one clients. Yes, I had that thought of, ok, here is the ceiling, what do I do? People were telling me at the time that I needed to have …. what is it called? Like an online presence, like I needed to build up my online coaching, yada, yada. But at the time, this was like six or seven years ago, I did not want to do that. I was not …. I think I was just scared. I didn’t understand online stuff. I didn’t know what it was like. I didn’t know if I would be able to really get it all put together and I thought it was going to be too much of a financial investment. So what I did was, I started thinking instead of having one client at a time, what if I ran a boot camp and I had 10, 15 or 20 clients at a time. So that’s what I started, I started doing a boot camp in Los Angeles at that same park and hosting it Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I couldn’t get the time in the morning to train people at 7, 8 or 9, because there was another boot camp in the park at the time. The only time I could get was 10:30 a.m. So, I was clever. 10:30 a.m., that kind of blows. I have to pick a good name, it can’t be like …. it can’t just be like a boot camp. So instead of calling it a boot camp, I called it ‘Lunch Crunch Workout’, where it’s like, you have like a free hour. I was going to do 10:30 a.m. and then noon, that was going to be the work out times. The noon one was impossible. People were like, I can’t get there and back. It doesn’t work. The 10:30 one, I decided to market it 100% to stay at home parents. I went to …. this is how our minds work. We start thinking, who is available at this time? Actors were available. I was available, I was an actor right up until then. This is when I work out, 10:30 in the morning is when like every actor works out. However, actors are flakes and they are broke. So, they are not going to be a part of this boot camp.

Drew: *laughing*

Rob: So, I put together this cover letter and I went to every single preschool in my area, within like a two mile radius. I asked to talk to whoever the head person was and I sat down with them and I go, ‘Look, I created a boot camp.’ And this is not true at all, but this is what I told them. I created a boot camp specifically for stay at home parents who are dropping their kids off at preschools and only have a few hours to run some errands and want to squeeze a workout in. And best of all, it’s at 10:30 in the morning and it’s outside. My philosophy is, if you help the parents, you are helping the kids. They were just like, ‘We love it. What do you want from us?’ I said, ‘I’m just going to put together a cover letter for you. You can just put it in the kids lunch box and that would be helpful. If that would be ok?’ They were like, ‘Yes.’ So, I went and made like I don’t know how many versions of these letters. I went through postcards I created and everything, getting slipped into kids lunch boxes. I would go out every three months and I would try different ones at different times of the year giving discounts. It just was never ending. I did it for …. oh man, how long did I do it? I think I did it for like 4 or 5 years. Maybe not that long? I stopped doing boot camps about 4 or 5 years ago. Whatever it was, it was a good chunk of time where I had these …. I was constantly trying to get people in. I would get people to come and I would have a good turn out and I would make like a couple thousand dollars a month from it. But the amount of work I had to put into it was like, that couple of thousand dollars a month is two clients. If I had two clients, that would have been the same amount of money and I wouldn’t have to be running around. So after …. really I think, Devon and I …. this is exactly 4 years ago, because we moved to a different part of the city. I live in Jefferson Park, part of Los Angeles that is maybe 15-20 minutes from where I was teaching those classes. I realized this is not going to work. The time is not going to work and I had to just cut the cord on it and let it go. I had a lot of people that were in there. I just basically let the memberships all run out. I told them this is going to be the last class on ‘X’ day. We had a good turn out for the last class and it was sad because we definitely had an amazing community. If you scroll back in our Facebook page, you will see a whole bunch of like really fun outdoor workouts with people. I feel like we filled an amazing community, but just financially, I just couldn’t get it off the ground because of bad timing and just the overhead. If I was outstretched to a different park, it was going to cost me $60 an hour.

Drew: Wow.

Rob: I had to pay in advance, and if it rained I didn’t get my money back and if nobody showed, I didn’t get my money back. So, I just financially, I couldn’t make that decision. So yeah, that’s what happened. So, that was the next 4 years. *laughing*

Drew: *laughing* So, Open Sky Fitness. When did that come into play and how did that get started and why? I’m guessing Open Sky Fitness is because it is outdoors, right? Or is there some other reason?

Rob: No, that was exactly it, actually. I named the company before or right after I took my first client and I started training people outside. When I first put up that Craigslist ad, is when I think I bought the domain. Because I was like, I am going to train them in this park, it was La Brea Tar Pits Park. Everything is outside under the open sky and I was like what about Open Sky Fitness? The domain was available, everybody loved it except for one of my friends. There is always that one guy! *laughing*

Drew: *laughing*

Rob: So, I went with it anyway and so here we are, 11 years later.

Drew: What does it look like now versus back then? What is the structure of Open Sky Fitness today?

Rob: So now, I still have one on one clients that I train in Los Angeles. I am transitioning and I have online clients as well. That is more like this conversation where I coach people through creating a healthy lifestyle around the craziness that is their life, right? Then I also host a challenge online as well. My goal eventually, as a business person, my goal is to have just online clients and just online community programs where there is a bunch of a people really working towards the same thing, very intimate. And have that be the bulk of what I do. Because, which we haven’t really talked about yet but, because we are due to have a baby in August.

Drew: Yeah, congrats.

Rob: Thank you. We are super excited. We are having a little girl and I want to kind of be a stay at home dad. I think it’s possible. I just haven’t figured it out yet and that’s my mission. My mission is to be a really present stay at home dad and be able to work from home and still provide the same kind of service and help to people that really do need it around their health and their wellness.

Drew: Well, for me, speaking from experience, as long as you have the why of your goal and you’re consistent and you are willing to work hard, the how will take care of itself, right? As long as you have the persistence and that why, everything single day reminding yourself why you want to do this, the how will eventually figure itself out. I’m curious to know, you’ve been in this industry for awhile. You said you were helping your first client and you probably didn’t help him the healthiest way possible, how has your approach to helping clients shifted over the years? I’m talking specifically about both fitness, from a fitness perspective, like exercises that you do now versus then? And nutritionally, how have you shifted your philosophy on that over the years?

Rob: Well, in terms of the fitness, it’s a lot more structured. I think in the beginning, I didn’t necessary believe that weight lifting was necessary. It’s not like I think that weight lifting is necessary in order to lose weight. I don’t think any fitness is necessary in order to lose weight, right?

Drew: Right, yeah.

Rob: Following a very healthy lifestyle, and that means eating really healthy, taking care of yourself and focusing on the good things in your life, right? You will start losing weight, it’s just the reality of it. In terms of the fitness though, the structure of it has changed. Whether it be like the Sky Fit Challenge we are doing now, which is mostly body weight work or doing like working with clients one on one where I am helping them put together lifting programs. It’s really about the structure of it and basically following a regiment where you are consistent in checking your results. If you are not paying attention to your results, if you are not paying attention to whether or not you are progressing, then you are kind of just floundering around and you don’t know if you are making progress.

Drew: Gotcha.

Rob: That’s like a no mans land of working out. It’s like a no mans land of fitness. That’s very common. I think I probably did that way too much early on, because I was just focusing on other things. The more structured I am with a client …. like some clients …. and you have probably seen this, I don’t know if you still train clients one on one? Probably not, but ….

Drew: No.

Rob: When you train clients, there are some clients that are …. they want that regiment. They want specific goals in specific amounts of time and then there are other clients that just want to show up at the gym because they want to check that box off. They don’t really care if they lose weight, they don’t really care if that means that they are healthy. They don’t really have that much. I still have those clients who making progress isn’t necessarily a priority to them and so for me, it’s not as satisfying. It’s much more satisfying when a clients like, ‘I want to achieve this by this time.’ Then I’m like, ‘Let’s do it. That’s amazing! Yes, so let’s break this down. How do we do it? Let’s create a road map to get there.’ You know the why, I want to do it because of this. I know the length of time that it’s going to take me to get there, but we have to figure out the how and that’s the fun part. Sometimes you change course throughout the way. I would say in the fitness realm, that’s kind of how I have evolved. In the nutrition realm, I’ve grown leaps and bounds in the last 4 1/2 years since I’ve started this Podcast. My Podcast is like a master class in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, just like life organization. I’m not saying I’ve got all this figured out, that I do not have. But I do have way more experience than the average personal trainer that lives in Los Angeles. Some of the people I talk to, even mentioning the Ketogenic diet to some personal trainers, it blows my mind that not every single personal trainer has not heard about the Ketogenic diet or the Paleo diet or intermittent fasting. The fact that it is not even on their radar is scary to me. Because it just means that they are not …. first of all they are not up with the times of what’s actually happening. That means that they are not being optimal with what they are or how they are trying to help their clients. That’s kind of where I have taken …. my wife, Devon, who is the co-host of my show, she is a holistic nutrition counselor. It’s great because there is a ton of stuff I don’t know. The more you know, the more you realize you don’t, right?

Drew: *laughing*

Rob: As I grow and learn new things, I am constantly checking with her. She is growing and learning and helping me and I am helping her. I think now in terms of our focus with our clients and how we help people, the way that it has evolved, is really trying to integrate all these things, whether it be your fitness, your nutrition or maybe it’s mental health. How do we integrate that into your lifestyle that already exists? The problem that most people have is that they think I’m just going to do P90X and then that’s going to fix my life. What you are doing is you are trying to shove a 3 month program into an already stacked life that doesn’t necessarily have the foundation to support that for a long period of time.

Drew: Interesting.

Rob: What we do is we take all the pieces, whether it be the Ketogenic diet or the Paleo diet or intertwining intermittent fasting into the process, or just getting people to eat whole food. Or even just getting people to take a walk once a day for ten minutes, how do we integrate that so it’s not a complete disruption in their life and allow them to feel like they are making progress? What are the easy ways they can check off every single day that makes them feel like they are making progress and slowly edge them to the next thing? The next thing you know, six months has gone by and you are like, ‘Oh my gosh, if we look back and we think, I wasn’t doing any of this stuff and now I am working out 5 times a week and now I am eating a majority whole food diet. I am drinking 80-100 oz of water every day. I’m focusing on meditation. I am focusing on my relationships. I’m focusing on my happiness. I am focusing on my work and how do I organize my life.’ All of these new things have been integrated, but if you had tried to go from zero to six months, it would have been impossible. That’s what I think …. I think the difference between how I work and how a lot of different online people work, as well as personal trainers in Los Angeles. They try to take you right hrough the gamut right from the start and it completely …. it’s a fire hose of information. I would say that’s probably the major difference. I was a fire hose five years ago. I was misled, maybe, slightly. *laughing*

Drew: *laughing* It’s hard, because you are soaking in all this new information. You are seeing amazing transformation with yourself and you are like, ‘This is awesome. My life is changing, I want to spread the message. I want to pay it forward. I want to tell people about this’ You have people at ground zero that still think, maybe diet soda and low fat Triscuit’s are a good approach to losing weight. And you are trying to tell them all this stuff about Keto or Paleo or Veganism and they are just like, ‘Um, ok so what do I eat? What do I do? What does this mean’?’ It’s hard because you want people to go from ‘A’ to ‘Z’, where you are. It sounds like you take the time to go, Ok, let’s get you from ‘A’ to ‘B’. Let’s just start there and then from there we will work on from ‘B’ to ‘C’ and then ‘C’ to’D’ eventually and then maybe you will see over time that they will make progress and maybe not. Not everybody is happy at ‘C’, maybe not everyone wants to be that strict all the time.

Rob: No, that’s what I was …. like before we were talking about Dave Asprey, right before we jumped on. Dave’s amazing, but Dave is at ‘Z’. You know? Dave Asprey, if people don’t know is like the Bulletproof Diet guy. He is all about biohacking and basically he is about getting your life so unbelievably tuned in that you are a machine, right? Kind of like Ben Greenfield, where you are like superhuman. I don’t want to be superhuman! I just want to be …. I just want to feel good. I want to feel like I am not going to drop of a heart attack. I’m not going to have diabetes and I’m also going to teach my kid about how to live a lifestyle that is not all obsessive about being healthy.

Drew: *laughing* Yeah.

Rob: There is such a fine line about being obsessed about health and just being healthy. You know?

Drew: Right. Yeah, that’s a great point. I think people in the health and fitness industry, they think they need to be a ‘Z’ to be healthy. They think they need to look a certain way to be healthy, but really it’s just about finding your happy balance, right? Maybe your happy balance is being 15-20% body fat, but your blood pressure is good and your hormones are good and all your lipids are good. You are not super strict all the time, but you are aware of your unhealthy habits and you kind of have them in check and you have a happy place. Maybe that works for a couple of years and then maybe a few years later you change it up. Even for me, the way that I do Keto now is different than the way I did Keto a few years ago. So, I think we are always evolving and changing, upgrading and that’s a key right there. It doesn’t always have to look the same way. You don’t have to diet down and be super strict with your diet, lose weight for this wedding and then go back to your old ways again. It can be a sustainable lifestyle over time. Yeah, I love that is what you do and I think it’s really important for clients. Let’s talk about you and your wife being pregnant. *laughing* How do you expect that to change the game for you and your family and your business, as well? How is that going to change? What are your expectations for that?

Rob: Well, I don’t know if you felt like this, Drew, but I feel like right now we are in the final 3 months. We are due in August. I feel like I am in a mad dash scramble to get everything in order before the baby comes. We’ve got a room that’s in shambles. We’ve got to paint that room. We have got to get all the furniture in and get a baby shower and collect everything. Where are we going to store all of it? What are we going to throw away to make room for all of it? There are all of these questions! We already have unbelievably full lives. Jam packed, like there is no wiggle room it feels like!

Drew: *laughing* Yeah.

Rob: *laughing* I’m stuck on one side or the other. I don’t know how much more room I have. You put a baby in that and then this is actually my excited part of this, I don’t know if this is true, but this is what everybody says to me. It’s like, ‘When you have a baby, everything in your life, everything that you thought was important, you just take a real new look at and you just really redial into it. You find out what is really important in life.’

Drew: Yeah, that is true.

Rob: That is what I’m looking forward to, because I know that I have so many focus’s. My online business, my personal training business. We have rental properties that we have in Los Angeles, my wife has her business and she also does acting as well on the side. We have so many different …. my accountant is like, ‘We are going to need four hours to go through all this.’ Now we are going to squeeze a baby in that. It’s the same way we would approach this from how we would coach somebody. Let’s take it from ‘A’ to ‘B’, alright let’s start getting this house ready, right? Let’s start getting whatever it is …. we are talking about birthing classes. We are taking birthing classes right now. We are considering having a home birth, which freaks a lot of people out. But we are really natural. I actually bought the domain ‘Barefoot and Primal’. I think that might be one of the directions we go, because I think that it’s a whole other lifestyle that I’m about to step into thats not just about fitness and nutrition. It’s really about how do you become this unit, this three person unit that really does operate well in this world. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but I am just trying to take it one step at a time. It scares the bejesus out of me.

Drew: Yeah, that’s the thing, you don’t really know how to be a good parent and how to fit everything in. You just eventually do it, it kicks in. I think that all of us have …. you just adjust and adapt as humans to go from zero babies to one baby and then from one to two, it’s like how am I going to do that? Two to three or whatever, you adjust and you realize those things that used to be priorities or important to you, are not that important anymore. It’s ok, I can let that go. Even with me, being obsessed about my body has evolved over time to you know what, I really don’t care about being ripped all the time or 5% body fat. I like to be in shape, but I can be happy between 10-15%, like I am good. It’s not like I need to be obsessed to where I’ve got to sacrifice time with my family just to go to the gym 7 days in a row. I could take a day off and be at peace with it. Yesterday was my daughters birthday. I’m like, I am going to eat some birthday cake with her and have fun and it’s going to be awesome and I’m not going to feel guilty about it, right? At the end of the day, I think we need to realize there is more to life than being in shape.

Rob: Right. You’re 100% right and it’s interesting, because I feel like …. so your thing, it sounds like is you were afraid it was going to impact or somehow alter your health, right?

Drew: Right.

Rob: For me, I’m not worried about that. In fact, I feel like my health is interesting, like I definitely have my own struggles, we all do. But at the same time, I feel like my laser focus, my direction is getting my online business up and running, not feeling like I have all the tools or the pieces in place for all that, before the baby comes. I feel like I am really kind of obsessed about it at this point and not necessarily in the best way. But I have always made time for being healthy. I kind of just squeeze it in. I don’t make it my priority being healthy, but at the same time, it’s so ingrained in my lifestyle. I cook my meals at home. I prep my meals and take them to work with me and find time to work out 3 or 4 days a week and do that kind of thing and spend time meditating just here and there. I don’t feel like I will lose that. I feel like the problem for me is I want to be able to step away from this desk and be like, I am going to go hang out with my kid. That’s my major concern as a dad, because I know my dad was very much into getting work done. As a kid growing up, it was mostly my mom. I spent all my time with my mom and I had four older sisters as well.

Drew: *laughing*

Rob: I didn’t have that guy time.

Drew: I get it man. Either way, congratulations. It’s going to be awesome for you. I’m super excited for you. Before we go, let’s talk about this challenge you mentioned. You mentioned it a few times during …. What is it? How do people learn more about it? Where do they go? All that stuff.

Rob: Yeah. Awesome, well thank you. It’s called the Sky Fit Challenge. It’s a body weight work out that’s six days a week. It’s only 20 minutes, so just like we talked about. It’s about finding time to squeeze 20 minutes into your day. Six days a week is not necessarily impossible, but also it’s not mandatory to do six days a week, right? We built it around …. the whole entire challenge is built around building habits. We have very specific habits that we implement, like drinking a certain amount of water. Eating a certain amount of vegetables in a day, it’s all about building a lifestyle that is manageable. There is a community around that as well of people that are doing it. It’s a very small community, it’s a very intimate community. Basically everybody knows each other and is talking about their process and how they improve. It’s all encompassed in a Facebook group. Devon and I are in there every single day hanging out with everybody, really kind of helping people that need help. Answering questions for people that are struggling, whatever it may be and then cheering people on when they are crushing it. The last one that we did, we had an 8 week challenge and there was a guy in there that actually was on the wrestling team with me in high school. He was listening to my Podcast. I had no idea.

Drew: Wow. *laughing*

Rob: I jumped on a call with him, because he had some questions. I was like, ‘Let’s jump on a call.’ I was like, ‘Hey Pete, what’s going on.’ He was like, “Rob, it’s Pete, Pete O’Leary from high school.’ I’m like, ‘Get the hell out of here! Are you serious?’ Last time I saw him it was like 1995 and he’s like, ‘I’ve been listening to your show for a couple of years now, man. I found it somewhere on Facebook or something. I love what you guys are doing. I want to be a part of this.’ He lost 30 pounds in 8 weeks.

Drew: Wow.

Rob: It’s not like one of those kind of diets. It’s not like a hard core diet. He said he had never experienced something like this where he just felt like he was altering his lifestyle and the weight just started falling off. He is still in it. He’s just repeating it and staying in the community, which is what we hope people do, is just stick around in the community. He is still doing really well and dropping weight and maintaining. It’s all about plateau, drop, plateau, drop and then once you reach a certain place, it’s where you live. That is your weight. If you feel healthy, if you feel strong, that’s what you want to do. That’s what the Sky Fit Challenge is. If people are interested in joining or checking it out for more information, they can go to ‘OpenSkyFitness.com/challenge’. That’s the link to it. There are videos in there, testimonials, some pictures, before and after, if they are interested in taking a look at that. They can also message me there and ask questions directly to me.

Drew: Gotcha.

Rob: That’s basically the challenge and if somebody is not ready to take on something like that, something that is that big, we also have a 7 day Paleo reset that we will be launching again very soon. By the time this airs, I am sure it will be up and running or at least people can get on the waiting list for it. Basically what it is, it’s just like a very quick, deep dive into a Paleo diet. I know that you are mostly Ketogenic, but I think that something you and I can really agree on is that a whole food diet is the way to go.

Drew: Yes.

Rob: This Paleo diet is straight up whole food. We have some amazing recipes in there. It’s step by step, follow this meal plan, follow these recipes. These are recipes that are pulled right from my kitchen. All of the pictures in there are pictures that I took of the food that we were eating. We created this thing. We did one last time. We had one guy who in 7 days lost 7 pounds. It all depends. It is all relative, it’s like if somebody has the weight to lose, they can lose that weight. We had another woman who lost 5 pounds in 7 days and it’s just because she has the weight to lose. Obviously, if you don’t have the weight to lose, it wouldn’t be that drastic of a weight loss. It’s amazing. So, if they want to find out more about this 7 day Paleo reset, they can message me. The way to do that, very quickly, is go to OpenSkyFitness.com/PaleoReset.

Drew: Ok, gotcha. We will put a link to that in the show notes. Then what about the link to the Sky Fit Challenge?

Rob: So, the Sky Fit Challenge is OpenSkyFitness.com/Challenge and the reset is OpenSkyFitness.com/PaleoReset.

Drew: Awesome. Super easy, super simple to remember. Also, where can people find you, Rob?

Rob: Everything is Open Sky Fitness. So, and actually we do have an awesome Open Sky Fitness Podcast community of people that listen to our show, so if you listen to our show, or if you come from here and you listen to our show and you decide that Rob is not a total moron and that you like the dynamics between me and my wife, then you can join the Open Sky Fitness Podcast community. It’s the Open Sky Fitness Podcast group on Facebook. It’s an amazing group of people. People constantly having conversations just like this. It’s nice when you feel like you meet somebody that gets it. I think the people in our community just get it.

Drew: Yeah. Well, thanks Rob. I really appreciate it, man. You say you still train a few clients here and there, are you still in the industry of training actors. You said they are flakey and they are broke, so do you still train actors? *laughing*

Rob: I do have a couple of actors that I train. They are not broke. I do train them. I shouldn’t say the money, but the real stability is in training producers, training movie producers. My wife and I, we share some movie producer clients that we have that are very successful and we have had them for years and years and years. They are just amazing people. That’s cool. More so than actors, but they go away! They go on shoots. I have an actor right now that is out of town. He’s in New York shooting something. That’s just how things go.

Drew: That’s how it is man.

Rob: Then we don’t make any money, right?

Drew: It’s all good, man. *laughing* Thanks, Rob, thanks so much for coming on. I really appreciate you and everything you do. So, thanks for coming on, man. We will see you next time. If you guys are listening to this, go check out Rob at OpenSkyFitness.com and don’t forget to subscribe to the Podcast on ITunes. I really appreciate the love and support and I will see you guys next time.


Hey everyone, thank you so much for listening to this episode on the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. I really, really appreciate all the support you have shown me throughout all the years. If you love the Podcast, then please go subscribe to the Podcast on ITunes and also if you love the Podcast, please leave us a review. It definitely helps out with rankings, which means more people listening to this Podcast when they see it. Feel free to reach out to me on social media @Fit2Fat2Fit or at Fit2Fat2Fit.com, with suggestions or comments or concerns. Anything that you guys think that I could do to make this Podcast better for you, I definitely want to bring the highest quality content to you, the most value because I know you are investing 30-50 minutes per day when you listen to the Podcast. I really appreciate all the support and like I said, go follow me @Fit2Fat2Fit on social media, if you want to reach out to me with comments, questions or concerns. Thank you guys so much and we will see you back here next week on the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast.