Best guesses on the future of the industry. What’s the current environment and how will it change? Which populations are currently served well. Which ones will need better attention? In what settings or formats will this occur? Also, a brief interlude on scope of practice of fitness professionals.

Industry Projections

Meeting Date: 4 / 1 / 15

Attending Members: Jon Greenwich Steven PazanPatrick RahmJohannah Zabal



Members discuss this challenge of determining “how much” in exercise prescription. Are there lessons to learn from pharmacology? How can exercise professionals first determine and then safely stay within the “therapeutic window” when dosing exercise.


Meeting Date: 3 / 18 / 15

Attending Members: Harrison BernsteinAlison BlakeJon GreenwichSteve PazanPatrick Rahm – Johannah Zabal


03:55 – Do you perceive whatever you prescribe (exercise, nutrition, etc) as medicine?

10:10 – Considering the dose response curve

17:30 – The window between minimum effective dose and the maximum tolerable dose

22:20 – Considering the multitude of variables that could influence the effect of a dose

28:15 – How monitoring technology may help us to better manipulate exercise dosage

39:35 – Do you more often aim to ADD or SUBTRACT behaviors?

52:40 – The rewards and risks of prescribing very high dosages 

53:30 – One CRUCIAL misunderstanding about exercise that often leads to overdose

1:07:45 – When to prescribe dosage at either of the extremes of the therapeutic window 

1:26:15 – When should we allow the client / athlete prescribe their own dosage?


What is “good” or “bad” for you? These are old questions that aren’t easy to answer. Regardless, there have been and continue to be many proposed answers. Members discuss and critique several of them and offer pieces of their own.

What Is Health?

Meeting Date: 3 / 5 / 15

Attending Members: Harrison BernsteinAmanda BuckleyPatrick RahmKelley VargoJohannah Zabal


04:08 – A definition of health

08:30 – Is there an ideal picture of health?

12:30 – Can someone be sick and healthy at the same time?

26:00 – A definition of wellness

31:15 – Considering ourselves “awareness professionals” rather than “health professionals”

36:00 – What are the implications of death on health?

48:15 -The problem of small effect sizes on health

1:02:20 – The trouble with flexible diagnostic boundaries 

1:08:20 – How does age effect health?

1:22:10 – The problems of increasing the length of lifespans


A Montessori education emphasizes independence and a limited freedom to choose. Coaching this self-guided approach may also apply well in fitness. As professionals, is it our duty to coach people towards self-reliance and ultimately exercise independence?

Montessori Fitness

Meeting Date: 2 / 18 / 15

Attending Members: Harrison BernsteinAmanda BuckleyPatrick RahmJohannah Zaba


06:20 – A definition of Montessori 

11:20 – Managing the client / athlete who just wants to be told what to do

14:12 – Is there a professional responsibility to educate?

17:00 – Coaching self monitoring and modifying a plan “on the fly”

23:05 – The client / athlete familiarity with “media science” and how to counter it

31:15 – Should we expect people to become more scientifically literate?

39:55 – The value of learning the WHY and HOW behind the WHAT

43:10 – Who should care more…the client / athlete or the coach? 

48:20 – Does a client / athlete have to care to get results?

50:15 – What is the role of inspiration in coaching? 


Setting expectations, and managing them with care, is essential to sustaining our personal and professional relationships. Members share their perspectives on how to do this successfully. Considering the complexity of humans and unpredictability of life, this is no easy task.

Coaching Expectations

Meeting Date: 2 / 4 / 15

Attending MembersHarrison BernsteinPatrick RahmKelley VargoJohannah Zabal


06:00 – A definition of expectations from the research

15:20 – Do you spend more of your time raising or lowering expectations? 

21:50 – Is there ever a benefit to setting unrealistic expectations?

27:53 – Examples of compromising the ideal to maintain the coach – client relationship

41:20 – The unpredictability of life’s influence on expectations 

54:00 – The interplay between goal setting, expectations, celebration and failure

1:00:40 – Predictability and variability’s influence on exercise adherence

1:14:25 – How often do you allow the execution of an exercise fall below your expectations? 

1:19:55 – Relying on our reason and / or our intuition while coaching


A brief review on complex training. What variables can and should be manipulated when programming complex training to maximize effectiveness? Is the true value of complex training in it’s reflection / representation of the dynamic nature of sport itself?

Complex Training

Meeting Date: 1 / 21 / 15

Attending Members: Jon GreenwichPatrick RahmGrady Renfrow


00:45 – Defining complex training and other relative variables

02:50 – If you utilize complex training, how do you use it in your practice?

5:20 – What are the intended short and long term effects when doing complex training? 

7:00 – What qualifies an exercise as one that should be executed first in a complex training protocol? 

8:20 – How does complex training compare and contrast with compound training?

12:25 – Is complex training a means to more comprehensively address the dynamic nature of sports itself?

16:20 – Have you tried “experimenting” with the various protocols to improve performance on your athletes? 

19:50 – Is complex training a beneficial method to implement? If so, when is it best implemented?

25:00 – Is the deeper question which / when is better: block or conjugate / waved / undulated training? 


NFJ members try to distinguish the difference between coaching methods and coaching styles. The all-important “defining of terms” begins the discussion. What follows is a thorough analysis of the importance, personal prioritization and interaction of each. Can one teach other coaches to adopt a style of coaching?

Method & Style

Meeting Date: 1 / 7 / 15

Attending Members: Harrison BernsteinJon GreenwichPatrick RahmGrady RenfrowJohannah Zabal


04:00 – An assessment of the many packaged, advertised and commercially available methods

11:50 – An attempt to define the difference between methodology and style

23:05 – Is your practice more driven by your methods or your style?

27:47 – Real world examples of the blending of method and style

40:30 – How do we teach this “way of no way” to our clients & athletes?

45:55 – The importance of your athletes and clients being “known”

1:17:55 – How does one teach and guide without specific instruction and without specific goals?

1:32:40 – The importance of being able to consider and answer the question of “why” or “why not”?

1:44:44 – The utility of humility in coaching


There are data suggesting that many ACSM certified exercise professionals lack knowledge on the ACSM guidelines. How important is it to have and know guidelines? What other sources should professionals consult to ensure best practice?

Evidence Based Practice

Meeting Date: 12 / 18 / 14

Attending Members: Harrison BernsteinMatt FalkenhamPatrick RahmGrady Renfrow Johannah Zabal


1:05– How important is it to be familiar with the guidelines of any organization?
6:05 – Guidelines often set minimums thresholds. Are there guidelines for maximums thresholds?
16:25 – Review of ACSM Guidelines
20:01 – Other professional’s knowledge of their respective field’s guidelines
28:40 – What are the primary sources of evidence that you utilize in your practice?
38:45 – In your practice, is there anything with such a dramatic effect that you don’t need research to confirm?
45:55 – In your own practice, what qualifies as “enough evidence” to start acting upon it?
48:43 – What are some instances where we need to be careful on what we promote or allow people to adopt?
54:10 – What is a recent instance where you’ve been convinced by evidence to act upon it?


The first meeting of The National Fitness Junto (NFJ) begins with an introduction and description of the NFJ followed by a discussion on nutrition.

Introduction & Nutrition

Meeting Date: 12 / 3 / 14

Attending MembersHarrison BernsteinJon GreenwichPatrick RahmGrady RenfrowKelley VargoJohannah Zabal


00:00 – Origin of the NFJ
10:00 – NFJ Oath & Mission Statement
19:50 – Attending Members Introductions
28:10 – Introduction of Topic – “Nutrition”
28:25 – “How big of a role does nutrition play?”
47:10 – “What are some barriers to implementing good nutrition? How do you overcome them?”
1:03:25 – “How can one integrate the measuring of biometrics into practice?”
1:10:45 – “What are the ethical, legal, or psychological reasons for NOT monitoring?”