• Misbah Haque

What to do when you don't feel like working out w/ Lucas Robinson

Lucas Robinson is a fitness coach who helps home gym owners.

You can follow his work here:


Instagram: @lucasbrianrobinson


Lucas, my friend. Welcome to the show. Thanks, man. Appreciate you having me. Yeah, you're somebody that I find really interesting because we've known each other for quite several years now. And when I first met you, you know, you, you had a gym, you were involved in the CrossFit model, you were doing innovative things, to evolve that. And it's just cool to see what you're up to now and how you're so deeply embedded in kind of the individualized coaching process, but you've also made it your own. And you're coming up with new models and systems every time we talk. So I'm pumped to kind of share that with people today.


Yeah, man, I appreciate you having me on. I know when you asked me, I joked, like when you sent me that text, I was like, did you text the right person?


100%, man, you have tremendous insight and, something I admire about you is the way that you are able to connect to the everyday person, right. Which is very difficult for fitness coaches. I mean, even myself included when I, you know, like it can be tough at times to, to relate to things that everyday people are going through, who aren't may be on the same, you know, level as us in terms of the way that we think about movement nourishment, all those types of things. So I wanna, I wanna hear tell me a little bit about like, what it's been like for you this past year, you know has it been, has there been some innovation that's happened? I'm sure there have been some struggles what's kind of stand out to you in hindsight now.


Yeah, well, I'll, I'll, I'll quickly back up to just before like COVID hit cause sort of the back end of 2019, I closed my eyes. We had an OPEX gym at the end. We actually went through many models, but we closed in 2019. And then from June to November, I worked in a semi-private group training gym. And what I really realized was it kind of was that final realization. Like I don't want to work for someone else and be subject to, you know, this person's trying to run a business and then you get subject to like two weeks vacation. And I was like, I don't like that. You know, like, so really I'm sort of, I sort of break out on my own. I sort of started as the pandemic started, you know, with like just online. Cause when November, when I gave this owner, when I was like, Hey, I know, you know, it's only been five months, but I really want to pursue my own thing online.


You know, the holidays happened after that. So it was kind of in limbo and then January is basically, you know, like New year's resolution. I was basically like, all right, here we go. And you know, I turned, I basically, it was like, my Instagram page is not going to be me posting pictures of personal stuff as much. It needs to be coach-centric. And so in February, when we started hearing about it, February 2020, I had two clients and they were just people that I was coaching online from OPEX we're called OPEC San Bruno. So the reality is, it is like my business in terms of like what, where it's at now with I think nine, nine clients. And I actually lost something too. So I added a lot more this year, but I started at the beginning of COVID basically before that I was coaching at a gym or I owned a gym.


So being 100% online by myself, I still, I started basically like right in the heart of it. And what I'll say is in the beginning, it was kind of like a gold mine. If you think, like every three weeks I was getting hit up by somebody that pretty much other than one client was someone I knew already. So, you know, was I coached them previously as a friend of a friend or friend of my husband or my wife's friend. Yeah, former clients. So for me like this year, you know, I actually added from February to December 10 people in a calendar year. Right. You know, amid a pandemic. So for me business-wise, it was great. You know, like, I guess that I mean, it sounds bad. I'm just gonna admit it's kind of the dream to not really have to do a lot of like marketing to reach people, talk about you.


Yeah. And what I sort of realized my wife helped me realize it was like, she's like, well maybe your, you know, eight years of coaching at a gym laid the groundwork. Like you're not, I'm not known on Instagram. You don't have like, you know, I don't even have like 500 followers, but I'm known enough in terms of the people that follow me. So in terms of growth, it's been good. I want to continue that this year. Cause you know, I want March towards, you know, for me, I want to March towards being oversubscribed and then a hundred percent focus on clients and really what my Instagram looks like is highlighting them. But right. You know you and I talked off-camera more about, you were like, what's something that like your, you know, a client, like I think we were just talking about something about clients and me, was like, you know, the big theme is sort of struggled for a lot of them. Yeah.


I mean, dude, it's, it's one of those things where there's so much change happening at, at one time that you know, it's hard for your system to process and adapt to that. Right. And sometimes like you don't even, I mean, I remember when I first moved to San Diego. Right. and I was due, I was working for free. I was going in the middle of a breakup. I was in a new place meeting new people, didn't know anybody, like all of those things, even though I kinda maybe mentally grasped it. Okay. Like I could feel something in my system where it's like, dude, you're, you're, you're things are changing, you're adapting. And it can be a really confusing time because you're just if you don't know what to do or you don't know that it is maybe normal or how to navigate around that, you know, that's sometimes where you're just like throwing the towel. You're like, all right, screw. This. We'll come back in a couple of months. So what are you finding with the types of struggles that a lot of your clients might be dealing with? Because I'm sure other people listening may be in a similar boat as well.


Yeah. and it's something I'm experiencing, like, not firsthand for me, but like in my household, because my wife goes through, it is the lines between, I think for a lot of people between work and home are gone. So I think I don't know if it's intentional, but employers, like it's like a lot of them are like, I'm working more than ever, you know? So it's either, it's that, it's the fact that it's like, you know, before my wife and I moved into a home in Oakland, in September, it was like, she's in the little eating room we have in our apartment. And it's basically like, your life is I'm in here. I walked to the kitchen and I walked to the living room, you know? So I think people are getting mental, physical burnout. And that's really like the reality is unless you are like a fitness coach or someone, a general population person, I kind of separate the two.


Like if you're a fitness professional, your general population, but you love training and eating right. Way more than the average person. Yup. So those people, it's kind of like, they don't need a lot to knock them off. Do you know what I mean? I know that sounds, that might sound bad. Like it's not like they're teetering on the edge, but it's like, you just had a 10-hour Workday and then you also had to intermittently like, make sure your kids stayed on his zoom calls and then you didn't, you know like you drank 20 ounces of water that day. You don't really want to work out. Right. That's a lot of what it is. And like, you know, the hard in me says, you know, tries to gently relate to those clients. Like, that's just kind of, that's just kind of a scenario right now.


And if you want to five, like it's like presenting them alternatives either you do that. And then you don't feel great or you say, this is just what it is. And I got to find a way to make it work. But I think that's the big struggle. Maybe parents are in the house, you know? Like your parents came to like a shelter in place, you know? Like your kids are not learning from home. You know, I haven't gone in like I visited and been like, what's the real scenario here. But like, I can, I feel like off the top of my head, it's only maybe one or two clients who really aren't struggling with this. Or maybe one, cause if the ones that are like, work's not too crazy, like one of my clients is my chiropractor and she's like, you know, I'm missing workouts.


Cause my kids don't want to stay on these zoom calls. Right. Do you know? So it's like real stuff and it's easy for us to be. It'd be easy to be like, well, make it happen. But you know, if you've ever had a day where you worked a lot and maybe for whatever reason you were in some zone, you're like, I didn't really eat. And I, you know, I drank coffee mostly like you, you don't want to work out. And the difference is, maybe something like URI it's so patterned that you're like, well, at least like swinging the kettlebell around for 10 minutes. Do you know what I mean? You have that like hold the line mentality of like movement, but clients don't all the time. It takes a long time to get there. But that's the biggest struggle I see is just that everything is now in the house.


Yeah. So what are you like from working with these people who are actively trying to navigate around it? I mean, what are some things when that's something you're dealing with? Because realistically like let's, if we back it up for a second, right? The people from a coach's perspective, who could really let's say, you know, use some guidance, use some help, right. Are sometimes busy working professionals, right. They, they got a lot going on. They might have a family as well and they need to figure out how to blend it in. so for, you know, and now, as you said, there are so many unique challenges that you are trying to dance around to make this kind of compatible with their life. What, what are some things that, you know, you're coming up in the conversation with you and your clients to either combat this or to maybe it’s mentally with it? Like, are your clients feeling, do they feel guilt? Do they feel bad about it? What's the general vibe with that.


Yeah. And you know, you coach long enough to realize they start assigning morality to it. Like I was bad and you're like, that's not what this is. Do you know? What I'm finding though is, the guilt is represented in radio silence. It's not represented in, you know, cause when I hear that, in words, I try to diffuse that like the other day a client sent me like I failed no excuses cause he didn't train. And I was like, what did you fail? And I was like, dude, let's just exercise, man. Like, this is, this is your deal. Like, because he's big on like, I really want to make you proud. I was like, I appreciate that. But like at the end of the day, like if you're just trying, then that's like, I'm proud to be your coach. Do you know what I mean? Like, what I think happens is you don't hear manifestations of guilt.


Again, you get like, I use a true coach for training and a nudge for habit tracking. You get red and you know what red means and true coach the color red and you get no tracking and then you get messages of like, yeah, I fell off. You get a lot of, I fell off. Right. And my coach and I were talking to him about it the other day. I have a coach mentor. His name's Matt Connolly. He used to be a headquarters coach at OPEX. Now he mentors coaches and I believe is now starting to specialize in coaching online coaches like fitness-wise, too. Nice. He said, yeah, the issue can become when resistance hits, they run away from you. And that's if I'm honest with some of them, that's what I'm experiencing. And you can only really do so much.


Like you're asking how it's been for me this year. It's been a lesson and trying to constantly remind myself that I can't make anyone do anything. And for a listener was not a coach. This might sound weird, but it's basically your client's problems are not yours. And I have a hard time. I have a hard time with that because I always fully put it on me. Like they fell off because of something I didn't do. But at the end of the day, it's like a hundred percent of the time simple things. When people do them, clients of mine, they're like, this is amazing. I'm like, you're just like drinking water and like doing goblet squats. Do you know what I mean? Like, and even when buddies are asking me for tips and I'm like drink a hundred ounces of water this month and he's like, dude, I lost like 45 pounds this month and I didn't do anything.


I was like, yeah, I don't I can't tell you. I know why, but water helps. So yeah, sorry. I was kind of a ramble, but back to like the is represented and you don't see things happening. Yeah. And they know, and then when it comes time for like, Hey, schedule your consult. They're the last ones. Sometimes they're the ones that you have to ask twice. Sometimes they're not, they're like on it, but then when you talk, it's all about like, yeah, it wasn't on top of things. And but I think that can then become the issue is you and I talked the last time we kind of chatted about that. I think they fail to see results sometimes. Not because they just don't have the ability to see to, to attain them. But because the behaviors they choose don't change. Like the reaction to life getting crazy is the same as it was before they had a coach. So that's kind of this year has been a big lesson for me. And it's been ebbs and flows. Like at times you're feeling like, I'm sure you felt that as a coach where you're like, am I even accomplishing anything?


All right. Yeah, man. And that's total, that's so real because, in theory, we're talking about like all the knowledge that's out there, right on how to write the perfect workouts and design the perfect habits for nutrition. It's like in theory, it all sounds amazing. And it all sounds simple. But when you throw humans into the mix, you, you know, there are more variables to play with and this year was the ultimate. Like if you got into coaching or, you know, you, you were already a coach and even from clients and if you finally took the leap and decided to work with somebody it's a great way to like Bulletproof your, your, your routines. Right? Because at a certain point, what you do is like, you're your kind of accept, I guess like, all right, this is the craziness that is happening right now.


This is like, I normally will feel drained after work. And that's something I might, I can expect. Right. So if that's something I can expect, then why don't we plan for something to, match that level. Right. If you're feeling tired, like what's doable within, within that. And I find that sometimes when it becomes hard to stay on track or whatever, it's because like there's an expectation you have for yourself mentally were like, oh, I'm going to crush it. I'm going to, you know, get an hour today and sweat really hard. And it's like that same task doesn't feel good when you're really tired. And it's like, at a certain point, if that's the case, it's almost like as coaches, we become good at pointing that out. It's like, Hey, did you notice how Thursdays you're really burnout? And it's been happening for like four weeks now. And so maybe this workout isn't a good idea. Maybe this is, or maybe a rest day is so what are you, what are some things you've been, you've been toying with these clients too, you know, even if it's just conversationally like you said, you're diffusing, you know thought patterns and stuff like that, that come up. What are some other techniques or strategies that you've messed around with that seemed to be helping when you're like, dude, I don't feel like working out.


I mean, some that have gone through, again, I like PR I was talking to my wife last night about coming on this show and I was like, I don't want to like present this like utopian model where everyone's just compliant. Cause that's just not real life. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? I've had clients where like that I've had the clients where you had to be like, I have, I have one client who's like redone workouts because he said he wasn't happy with his effort. I'm like, you need to pump the brakes. Yeah. The things I've tried and it's more in like conversation or like you could try this cause I'm not gonna like be rewriting workouts. You know, every day for people is, you know, Hey, if you have your kettlebell like I even did a post where it's like, this is more something general I've put out like, look, if you foresee work, getting a crazy bag, the regular training and today choose lunges and kettlebell swings.


And every time you get off a zoom call, you do 10 lunges and 10 swings. Like that's not going to make you sweat. That's not going to share your heart rate. You'll get that. Like, you'll get that heart rate increase at the end. Cause you, your respiratory system is trying to catch up. Cause it was, you know, this quick burst, right? But like you could be today is, you know, 15 marching, glute bridges, or you know, 15 glute bridges and a 32nd plank. You know, every time you get off a call and you can kind of change that up or the people who are really good at kettlebell stuff, you can do swings. If you have somewhere, you can place rings in your house. Every time you go by them, you need to do five-ring Rhodes. It's kind of like greasing the groups throughout the day.


Yeah. precision nutrition did a post about that. I think they loved that. Like John Berardi talked about he was so busy at one point like he hired a coach to write him a 10-minute workout. He could literally get out of bed onto the floor and do every day. I remember that he was like, I have 10 minutes. Then he hired one else. Cause he w he knew he wouldn't do it. And this is a guy that is one of the top fitness minds, fitness health-related nutrition, science mind. So the only other one I've messed with, with clients that have things like a biker, cause assault bikes are kind of like a cold start, hot finish type workouts. And I basically just try to move them through something full-body where I just think of squat, squat, pole push, and a bed where it could be like, all right, you're going to do, basically, your warmup is the first couple of minutes.


And it is what it is, you know, like a 10-minute clock, 10 calorie ride, 10 boxes, step-ups, 10 ring rows. Like it's not anything creative. You're just like moving you're like holding a line to me. It's actually just, you are holding a habit. You rest two minutes to get some water, another 10-minute clock. Cause you just did a squat in a pole and now you're going to ride the bike again. And it could be like, you know, ride, you know, 60 seconds you know, 10 banded, good mornings, and 10 bench pushups. Do you know what I mean? Like, yeah. It was just easy stuff like that. And you change the elements.


Right? I saw this article that I came out, it was like talking about how they were doing studies on how like two minutes of movement are broken up throughout the day. Like two minutes is the minimum effective dosage of movement where if you did something and it was a robot, keep keeping it aerobic, you know, probably something like air squats, something you can do in a sustainable fashion was enough to give you some of the mental acuity effects and the little like a dopamine hit that you get from working out and all that good stuff. That I, I have been messing around with myself. I've also like, I love that concept because often you think of like, okay, training time, you're like, all right, it's like a session it's at a certain time of day. It's a big chunk of time. You warm-up, it's a hope event, but what this promotes is spotting and noticing movement throughout the day and getting used to like, I think it's that, you know, that mental leap you take from like RA I'm about to do this and then, okay, I'm doing it. It's like, you kind of train that muscle a little bit. Right? Every time you break out of your work and you, you, you hit a pushup or you do a plank or whatever.


Yeah. Well, I also think too that sometimes I think the reason that a lot of times training gets back to is because of people's perception, that training needs to be suffering. Yeah. Well, they are like gearing. There, they're basically thinking of that effort and being like, there's no way I can do that today. Like there aren’t these different gears and if you've ever, you know, you are my first individual coach. And so you sort of introduced me to like, you know, you gotta have gears. Like you can't go after the 60 minutes piece. Like it's only two minutes, but what I'm saying is it's that mentality that every session needs to be tough. And then if they know mentally and physically, I just can't produce that. I do nothing you don't. I think that becomes the issue. I'm actually reading a book called 80 20 running by Matt Fitzgerald.


And it's the premise is, you know, the case for 80% of your running volume being easy, 20% being like moderate to hard. But he was talking about the reason people hate running is that they just go out and try to kill themselves. And I think it's the same with training. You know, I've had to tell clients I'm like every session does it doesn't need to be the toughest thing ever. And this is where it's tough to teach. Autoregulation that's something I remember you brought up with me, it was a little bit more of a concept aspect. It's like, you just unless it's this random recovery day, you just go, right, right. I was used to, and then all of a sudden it was like, no, like if you know, stuff's off back the weight off and just feel out those movements, like that's, what's tough to impart to clients. So I think that's really where it's tough for them is they're like, well, I should just like go ham or not do it. It's like, no, like how are you going to live to 90 training like that?


Right. Yeah. It's almost like you have to, it's like the core part of this is being able to rewire whatever your association is with working out and training. And a lot of that stuff is deeply embedded and stuff that you might not be able to even articulate at first. But you know, if you can, if you can low, like your bar for working out might be here. If you only do it once every three months, you're like, all right, I'm going to go hard today. And then you do, and then it fizzles out. So instead of the bar being here, it's like really making it okay for it to be maybe down here, right. Because this is where you'll be consistent. This is where like you reap the benefits of, feeling good about yourself, feeling like you're disciplined. It giving you even more confidence for the next session the next time.


And that stuff is really hampered. Then, when you have something, an objective that's a little bit too out of your reach, which is why I think having it, this be relative is important too. Right? So it's like a workout for, let's say me and you, that we used to do 90 minutes. And that was like normal, you know, it's like maybe 45 to 30 or, or 60 minutes is something that is a way for us to bring it down for somebody who hasn't been moving. Right. And their association is all right, I got to spend an hour at the gym or on the treadmill or whatever it is. You got to rewire that to be like two minutes, 10 minutes moving around in my house or apartment is okay. And it's productive. I think that's the thing. If you can get yourself to do things that feel productive, there's something about it that that truly might be productive and it helps feed all the good mojo, I think, to keep you going.


Absolutely. And it's kind of like what you were touching on. It makes me think of the term infrequent bludgeonings and that's usually how people approach fitness. So you're kind of like, I've always thought it's interesting that people use exercise sort of like pruning shears. It's like, when things are overgrown, I cut it back and then I put it back in the closet, you know what I mean? Right. I go, yeah. And then they're sort of shocked that they have to keep pruning that the job is so big every six months. It's like, well, if you just stood there, there'd be little clips here and there rather than this all-day affair.


No, you're good. I, I really this, this concept is something that's so current and so relevant that I'm sure, like, even for people, like, I'm sure people like me and you can get us less associated with the layout. It's not, we don't have that emotion or that gear where it ever feels hard to work out, you know? And it's like, I think everybody experiences that to some degree. And you know, you highlight it on, a couple of tools that I think are, are very easy to implement. Especially if you have an extra, like, we kept the person in mind who has a crazy schedule right now and, and might be struggling. So is there anything to, let's say that person or, you know anybody who's listening anything you'd like for them to take away from this?


Yeah. you know, the tagline I use is simplicity plus consistency equals results. And I would hope that they look at that and actually take comfort in it to realize like this isn't like climbing Mount Everest. If I look at drinking more water, like implementing them is tough because we don't lack information. Like everyone could find everything on Google that they need. So it is really about like, if you chose, if you things sleeping, drinking, water, and mindful breathing, if you think about those are the things that we can't like live without, and like moving you, if you just brought those aspects up, what I find is when people start moving in that direction, momentum is gain. They start looking at other things, you start working out, you invariably start looking at like, okay, maybe I should eat some better food, right. Drinking, more water, and you start feeling better.


And you're like, well, I want to continue doing that. You know, that all feeds into better sleep. And then you love your energy. And then you're like, okay, well, I don't want to let this go. So it isn't about overhauling your life. It's it is about making small changes that over time the change gets bigger and bigger and bigger. The problem is, again, like we said, the infrequent bludgeonings are they try on day one to do it. They try to behave. Like they've been doing it for two years. Right. It doesn't last long. And it, and the other thing I would give them in terms of like, this is what I had kind of forgot there was in terms of movement. I love isometric holds. And I think if people did more of those, it would help them because they would understand that not, you could not move and have it be difficult and it might change it.


It'll change their mindset around needing to go fast and heavy to actually get a workout. Cause I can tell you 100% of the time when I re-introduce this to a client or first time to a client, or I gave my brother a sequence, cause he was like, I'm getting fat. And I was like, all right, go for walks, drink water. Do these ISO holds because I don't, you know, I'm not going to go, go ham on them. And a hundred percent of the time people are like, I can't believe how much I was sweating and breathing, not moving. Yeah. I think it's great, and in fact, most people should start static before moving. Like, can you control your body in space without moving? But I think as a metric hopes are again, a great way for people to understand that you don't need crazy efforts.


And in fact, you know, I just think it's kind of a lesson in patience and then realizing too that you're a bit misguided. If you think that real exercise leaves you on the floor every time. You know, in fact, you and I like, we're probably both people right now. I know I am that I know my willing, I don't want to suffer anymore. I really nothing, to be honest, that has nothing to do with looking and feeling better can make the argument that if it's not for sport or profession, why are you doing that? Yeah. So I would say, yeah, I would just say takeaways are, get back to very simple habits and become like lethal with them. Like if someone became lethal with three meals a day, protein veggies, some carbs, and fat drink, more water, go to bed by 10, 10 o'clock if you can take five to 10 minutes to just breathe mine, you know, to just breathe in and out through your nose slowly, get outside and just like appreciate being outside and lift some weights. Like you can look and feel pretty darn great from that. Like, and until you do that for a long time, you don't have really any business saying like it doesn't work and I need something else.


Yeah. A 100%, man. I told him I really liked this because these are all things like you said that are, you become lethal with these very simple habits, but they're also like they're hidden triggers. It seems like, you know what I mean? Cause it's like, okay, this, these are the items. It's not just about drinking water. It's all the stuff that it causes in the following day following the week following. So I really liked that and I'm sure that people could customize this too, you know their own, as their own level. If they're, you know, a little bit above this or really encouraging people just to look at it on a continuum. Right. And it's, there, there are ways to make your objective simpler and more doable and that doesn't make it like you're going to get fewer results, right? It's like, you're just feeding consistency, which is going to help you with results at the end of the day. So, dude, this was really fun, man. I really appreciate you coming on and, and elaborating on some of these concepts.


Yeah, I did. I liked, I liked talking about this stuff. I think it actually helps coaches to talk about it because you're kind of by yourself, mumbling to yourself about it.


Totally. And I, that was one of my favorite things about all of the airborne mind and Ms. And filter shows I got to do in the past was like every episode, man, no matter who, it was like how much they knew, there was always something that like, got you excited, like a lone nugget that would make me like go off and be like, huh, that was a great concept. Like how do I apply this to myself or my clients or my work or whatever? So I'm with you, it's, it's always great to kind of get to self reflect a little bit out loud and you know, maybe help some people along the way. So I'll definitely be having you back on men. Yeah. Tell me where people can follow you and keep up with what you're up to.


Sure. my Instagram is just my full name, Lucas, Brian Robinson. And just kind of touching on you was saying, you know what I was just talking about. Like if someone visits my website, Lucas Robinson, strength.com, there is a calendar there to schedule a free call and just letting them know like they scheduled the free call. I send them a 30-day ebook. I wrote it's called a stronger and leaner in 30 days. And it basically is what I just talked about. Put into, I think it's 11 pages and ebook because I am firmly entrenched in the fact that it really is not tough too, you know, be stronger and leaner and like look the way you want. And then I kind of put all my thoughts into there. And at the end, I did put in this little actionable plan that looks kind of like three meals, a day, 30 minutes of walking water, lifts weights three times a week. I even put in a sample week of training. So if they schedule a call shoot them that free ebook as well.


Amazing. well dude we'll get that linked up as well. But again, thank you so much for coming on man. And we will see you.


Absolutely. Thanks!!







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