In this episode, we have a guest from all the way from Germany. We have Eli Hachmann – weight training and nutrition coach. We talked about the importance of coaching for everybody, how she works with her clients, and her future plans after The Strong Coach. Enjoy!
Going Deeper With Your Clients with Elli Hachmann
29 October 2019
In this episode, we have a guest from all the way from Germany. We have Eli Hachmann – weight training and nutrition coach. We talked about the importance of coaching for everybody, how she works with her clients, and her future plans after The Strong Coach. Enjoy!
Table Of Contents
- Elli’s Backgound In Fitness & Nutrition
- Going Deeper & Staying True To Yourself
- We As Coaches Need Coaches
- The Importance Of Empathy Towards Your Clients
- Making Your Clients Step Out Of Their Comfort Zone
- Training The Mind First
- Categorizing Emotions…And Food
- Teaching People To Play The Curiosity Game With Themselves
- Taking Responsibility For Yourself
- Elli’s Plans After The Strong Coach
Elli’s Backgound In Fitness & Nutrition
April: So go ahead and tell us a little bit more about you.
Elli Hachmann: Well, I’m Elli Hachmann. I’m 37. I live in Germany, was born and raised here, and I’ve been a coach for about 20 years.
April: Cool. Wow.
Elli Hachmann: And a physical therapist. So I’ve worked with athletes, with patients, with teams. I also had my own CrossFit box for a while, for about four years. Then I sold that, realized that’s not for me, learned a lot-
Elli Hachmann: … and went back to freelancing. I made enough money to get by but it was never the big business, or making enough money to support me and my family or anything like that.
April: Cool. So what type of coaching do you do?
Elli Hachmann: Weight training and nutrition coaching. So since I am pregnant, I’m 38 weeks pregnant, and I’m moving more-
April: Congratulations by the way.
Elli Hachmann: Thank you … to solely online coaching. So the weight training is a bit on the back burner right now because I do believe that it’s important to be there and really coach people.
April: Of course.
Elli Hachmann: Hands on. So the nutrition part is getting stronger and bigger and it’s a lot of fun, I love it.
April: Cool. Cool. By the way, thank you for taking some time, especially so close to … And this is your second child, correct?
Elli Hachmann: Yes.
Elli Hachmann: First child is seven years old and second child is coming in two weeks.
April: Cool. Cool, good deal. Thanks again for taking the time.
Elli Hachmann: Awesome.
Going Deeper & Staying True To Yourself
April: So why is coaching important, Elli? Why do you believe that coaching is important for people?
Elli Hachmann: I mean, in the fitness scene, we’ve accumulated enough knowledge. It’s not about becoming smarter, learning more about training, nutrition necessarily, and it’s not about what we do anymore, so much as how we do it. So I’ve realized that my clients, I worked the CrossFit world, so we’ve all read the same books, multiple similar certifications and camps, and follow the same gurus on Instagram and stuff like that. We don’t need to really go wider. A lot of people need to go deeper, especially those who have been training, who are kind of experienced.
A coach is someone who can really also break down all the information that’s out there and people telling you what to do, or what not to do and to kind of condense it down usefully for you, individually for you. So a coach is a shortcut to success and also a really important guide to help you stay on track and really stay true to yourself.
April: Awesome. I like the point you brought up about one, going deeper, and two staying true to yourself. Can you explain the going deeper a little bit more?
Elli Hachmann: You can compartmentalize nutrition, life, emotions, training, it’s you. Since we’ve evolved so much, I’ve realized for myself, it’s not about knowing the macros, it’s about making food nourishing and pleasant. It’s not just about eating something so it has a function. Yeah, I mean, if you’re an athlete it has to function in a way, but you want to be happy. To have to be in the right social setting as well and you need to be eating what you really want. I’m not saying that if you eat what you crave, you’re going to eat chocolate cake all day. It’s kind of not that way if you’re in contact with your body, right?
That’s what I mean with going deeper and for me it was also opening up in that kind of way because in the beginning, it was more about performance, dialing in macros, calories, blah, blah, blah. That’s also one of the reasons why I was afraid to charge more money because I was like, “Look, technically they can go on the internet and find all this stuff out is not science. I mean, it’s science but it’s not a secret.”
April: Right, right. You can google anything and the right information is out there.
April: Very cool.
Elli Hachmann: Because that’s what we learnt there. Where you’ve got to live everything that you talk about.
Elli Hachmann: You have to be authentic in order to really, really help people and inspire them. I didn’t actually know what that meant in the beginning, or what that would look like. When I launched my website, my online platform, so I decided that I wanted to be online coach. I didn’t want to coach face to face as much anymore because I was becoming a mom. It was that people wrote me emails and people had questions about areas that were going deeper and I realized that I need to stop telling reality what it is, what my job is. I need to let reality tell me what it is. I need my clients to tell me what they need from me and I need to listen.
Elli Hachmann: Because it’s always in a sense, I’ve had clients that were drawn to me, that felt like I could help them, but they oftentimes might’ve been afraid to actually say what their real problem was that they had, like an eating disorder or emotional eaters. I was afraid to point that out because I’m not a therapist.
April: Right, that’s a good point. That’s a good point.
Elli Hachmann: Pointing it doesn’t mean that you actually know … I mean, I’m not going to play the therapist, but just pointing it out can help them realize that the story is a lot bigger than just going to the gym and getting the right things.
April: On that note, I mean, you certainly have a point. We are trainers, we are coaches, we are not therapists. However, to that point as well, when your client knows how much you care and you can create that connection and that bond, it truly is a relationship. On that note, when you’re able to show them how much you care and how much you really want to see them succeed, I think that also goes into going deeper.
We As Coaches Need Coaches
Elli Hachmann: Absolutely and coaching can help to stay on track. Like what I said, life is off track when the things that matter to you get no attention.
April: Right and to have a coach that can objectively look at all of that and help you re-prioritize whatever you need to, I think is very important. I think as coaches, we’re also guides. It just sometimes takes an extra eye, or someone else to take a critical look at what’s going on and do it in a way that resonates with you because there’s always going to be someone, people that you connect with more, on some things and people that you don’t connect with as much. So I think it’s really important for all of us coaches who have a variety of different coaching styles, to really all be out there for absolutely everyone in the world. You’re going to connect with someone who I might not connect with and vice versa.
Elli Hachmann: Absolutely.
April: So for all of us to be out there really caring and really trying to connect and go deeper, just like you’re saying, is super important because everyone needs a coach. We as coaches need coaches.
Elli Hachmann: Very, very true.
April: When we found, for example, The Strong Coach, I certainly was at a point in my life where I was like, “Things don’t feel right. I need some help.” That’s what The Strong Coach did for me too. It really helped me go deeper into learning more about myself and what I wanted.
Elli Hachmann: Yeah and also the part that we learnt about implementing something fast. That was a key sentence for me. I have so many books, I mean nutrition, training, self-help, and when it came to the subject of actually doing something, they would have exercises in those
April: Right, yeah, yeah. Well, that’s just it. There’s also a difference between knowing and doing, and I think that’s important for any of our clients too. Because like you said, there’s this just overwhelming amount of information and you can read that and google all you want and learn it and know it, but if you’re not taking action on that, how much does that matter?
That was huge for me too, is one of my mantras that I made for it was, I take action.
Elli Hachmann: That’s so good, I had something similar.
April: Yeah, nice. Good deal. Good deal. So to have a coach be like, “Okay, you know this, let’s figure out what in your life is keeping you from doing it.”
Elli Hachmann: Yeah and actually also clearing up what their goal is. A lot of people don’t actually know … they don’t track their energy and their feelings around stuff and getting them on a certain track, usually I see them either finding out, “Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I want,” or, “No, that’s actually not what I wanted.” So once they start moving, things start to appear.
April: Yeah, good deal.
Elli Hachmann: Especially for women who have issues with food. You can start off with, “Oh, I’m just not disciplined enough. I keep eating chocolate and I want to make weight for this meet.” Then we realize, well she’s actually eating chocolate because she’s not putting herself first, because she’s stressed, because she’s tired, because she’s looking to other athletes and trying to be like them, or whatever it is. I feel sorry for them in the beginning of like, “We’re not going to talk about what you think we’re going to talk about.” You know, it’s like, “I’m going to disappoint you.”
The job as a coach, that kind of approach, for me is so much more rewarding and so much more fun. It helps me stay in shape because I had all those issues years ago and it helps me remind myself. “Wow, yeah. You remember what that felt like? You don’t want to go back to that.”
The Importance Of Empathy Towards Your Clients
April: On the level of going deeper and connecting, how important do you think it is to either have gone through the same types of experiences that your clients have gone through, or at least be able to empathize? What do you think is more important there?
Elli Hachmann: For me, I empathize with a lot of people and I know for some though, I can’t help them first.
April: Ah sure. What do you have to happen?
Elli Hachmann: I have to be two to three steps in front of them, before them, so I can actually tell them what the next step is going to be. I don’t know if that’s true for every coach, but I feel more comfortable in that position, knowing exactly what they’re feeling. I’ve been there and I can play out different scenarios of how we can get them on a better track or … that’s a tough question, but you do need both, on the other hand.
April: Sure, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think sometimes empathy comes from having gone through the same types of experience. Yet at the same time, if you’re simply able to put yourself in their shoes enough to say, “Hey look, I see that this is coming up for you. I don’t have a specific a help for you. If I can’t one-on-one help you myself, well let me help you find someone who can, or something that can help you.”
So on that sense, I think, yeah, like you said, they’re both important. It’s about knowing when you know you can help someone and when you … it’s just like the refer out kind of thing. If you cannot help someone on one level like, “Hey, maybe I know someone who can, maybe I know someone that can connect with you on what you’re going through.”
Elli Hachmann: That would also be the type of client that I would probably not take because it’s more fun to work with people who I can relate to almost 100%.
April: Yeah, makes sense.
Elli Hachmann: I don’t take clients anymore that call me up and just want macros for their meet. For no money in the world. I don’t have time for that anymore, it’s … go read it up.
April: Yeah, the information is out there, you can-
Elli Hachmann: It’s out there, I’ll send the link.
April: There we go, good. You’re still helping that and that’s good. Yeah, and as coaches, I think it’s very important to distinguish who we want to work with as well. so that’s important for us as coaches. That helped a lot with The Strong Coach too. The Strong Coach helped figure out, “Well who do you actually want to be talking to and who do you actually want to be helping?” That’s important for us so that we can continue to put 100% of our effort towards our coaching.
Elli Hachmann: Yeah, yeah and it helps you evolve as a coach as well. It’s like surrounding you with good people where you can grow and where you can learn. I do that in my personal and private environment and I do that in my business environment as well.
April: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll tell you this, as I started The Strong Coach and as I’ve seen it grow over the last year, I had been a bit resistant to finding communities virtually or online. This has been such an eye-opener for me to see all the coaches out there doing all these really cool things and really have created a community of great coaches to bounce ideas off of, to have conversations with and I’m certainly grateful that we’ve been able to create this community together.
Elli Hachmann: Absolutely. I’m the same way. I’m actually really antisocial, so I hardly go out, I have like three friends and I hate talking on the phone and I certainly don’t like online meetings, but I love The Strong Coach program so it’s all worked out.
Making Your Clients Step Out Of Their Comfort Zone
April: So, I think coaching is important because it can … in order to have that growth or that change in your life, stepping out of your comfort zone is going to be really important. How do you facilitate that with your clients?
Elli Hachmann: We create a clear agenda first because if you don’t have one, you may not know where you’re going actually.
Elli Hachmann: It’s not enough to take medicine. You have to be proactive with your health as well. That’s basically how I get people started, to find out first of all, where are they going? Then we take actionable steps.
April: In those actionable steps, is there a lot of stepping out of the comfort zone, or is it just little by little, like baby steps or big jumps?
Elli Hachmann: It depends on the topic. Not everyone is ready to hear everything at once. I certainly also think that if you give people too much at once, they may feel overwhelmed.
April: Been there, yep.
Elli Hachmann: Making people, making women make peace with food for instance. If they’ve had a lifelong struggle, you’re not going to go like that. You’re not going to say something magical and it’s just going to happen. So for instance, in my coaching they start off with self-care.
Journaling and that can be really new for a lot of people, believe it or not, and checking their day to day lives, where are the triggers? So they have a mindful calendar, or journal where they write down their feelings around food step by step. I don’t give everyone everything at the same time. Most often I don’t and I see how they progress and how that feels for them and then I’ll give them more. I’ll feed them more. So the end of one mountain is the bottom of the next. And that can look very different for different people. For me, the most important thing is that they keep moving.
And fight gravity because on the physical level we understand we need to fight gravity. I’m 37, so I can definitely and also the mental, emotional level, we have gravity pulling us down. Emotional and mental health doesn’t happen by chance. It’s less tangible for a lot of people because you can’t see emotions necessarily, there somewhere there, but if you don’t talk them, nobody will know.
April: That’s a really good point. Oh my goodness.
Elli Hachmann: Like training. You can’t go to the gym four times a week for six months and then you’re fit and you never go back because you think you’re going to stay the way that you are. Have to go back every single week, two or three times a week to actually maintain that. So meditation, journaling, all this stuff. I make sure it’s part of their life and they appreciate the effects so much that they don’t want to let go anymore.
Training The Mind First
April: Yeah, exactly. So you’re starting off by training mind, emotions, mental health, things like that. That’s your normal starting point with people?
Elli Hachmann: In the realm of nutrition?
April: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Elli Hachmann: Yes. Hunger has a reason, overeating always has a reason and we eat, women eat, the women that come to me with a food issue, eat for multiple reasons that have nothing to do with their bodies and because they’ve been doing it for so long, they actually don’t realize they’re eating their feelings, they long for love, attention, rest, whatever it is and I can’t get to that until I actually slow them down
April: To really connect with inner feelings again.
Elli Hachmann: And be in contact with themselves. That’s when they actually started talking about, “I think I ate because I was frustrated.” I’m like, “Oh really? Tell me more about that.” I like them giving me the answers first. I love when they come up with the answer, or at least half the answer and then we can go on from there. I don’t like telling people their problem. I like to hint and guide them and then have them find out, that goes much deeper than just telling them, “You have this, you have that,” and then go, “Here’s the solution and goodbye.” That usually doesn’t stick very long.
April: I see that as facilitating. We are facilitators of your success and so it’s again just like … facilitation guide, same thing. Yeah, when you can just ask the right question. I think that’s a really important skill to learn, which I’ve always wanted to learn how to ask the right questions and with some of the stuff that we did do in The Strong Coach, something like the curiosity game, simply just taking a few minutes to ask as many questions as possible and in that sense, learn what questions are really going to facilitate answers like that. Also again, I think that shows our clients how much we care and we really do want to know enough as much as we can to help them.
Categorizing Emotions…and Food
April: Food doesn’t have emotion. Cake is neither good nor bad. Cake is cake and it’s delicious in my opinion. So if you start categorizing things like that, then you’ve started to tell yourself a story that may or may not be true. So to really figure out what is true, that’s another thing that we want to … Oh man, so many things in The Strong Coach that we went over, is actually finding reality and helping … not only finding reality for yourself but helping your clients find reality. Is that a big part of what you do with your clients too?
Elli Hachmann: Oh hell, yeah. I mean, also categorizing foods in good and bad, who hasn’t learned that in our generation?
Elli Hachmann: It’s super hard to have clients like neutralize sweets.
April: With all the media out there that’s …
Elli Hachmann: Which is also something that I learned from teaching my son, that sweets are sweets. We have them in the house, we have a structure around them, can find them anytime. We don’t even eat them in a particular order. So sometimes it will just all be on the table and he can pick and choose and there’ll be dessert on the table already and he’ll choose broccoli, not that special anymore.
Some days he’ll have cookies with milk and I’ll let him eat as many cookies as he wants and usually it’s two to three and he’s fine. He’s in connection with his body. So I can really recommend when you neutralize foods, for instance, some clients need to have a couple of days where they can just eat whatever they want. To find out that they actually really like salad. Nobody would believe me if I said it in the beginning, but everyone at the end of like, “I don’t even want that chocolate anymore. My body feels so good when I have lean meat, rice and I really missed that now.” That’s what I want them to be, I don’t want to tell them not to eat something because that’s going to make them want it more.
April: Ah, yes. We want what we can’t have.
Elli Hachmann: Yeah and with emotions it’s the same thing. I really like all those meditations and breathwork exercises and breathing into your feeling and whatnot but we also need to stay curious and that’s what we’ve learned in The Strong Coach. Stay curious, don’t judge, just look at it and be like, “So what could this mean? Why is this feeling there? What does it say about my needs? And how can I put that into words? How can I find out where this is coming from?” So you’re put back into your own power and you’re able to create a new identity from that, because you can say, “Oh, this is because I learned that money is a bad thing.” Or because … I don’t know, “But actually that’s not what I believe.”
I wouldn’t want to make emotions go away, whether they’re pleasant or not. It’s just an emotion and we just need to just look at it and be like, “Who are you?”
Teaching People To Play Curiosity Game With Themselves
April: Yeah, yeah. What’s happening? What’s going on? Yeah, who are you? I like that. So you’re basically playing the curiosity game with yourself. You’re teaching people to play the curiosity game with themselves so that they can really evaluate and find the reality, whether … is that accurate?
Elli Hachmann: Accurate, especially when they’ve overeaten, or when they eat something that they think is bad. What does it say about them? Why are they thinking that? Where’s this coming from? All those questions are the things that I ask them, and to stay curious and not be like, “Oh, I’m such an idiot if I eat something I planned not to eat, or I overate,” like undisciplined, or whatever. “I’m a loser.” And you’re like, “Why did I need that? Because I went without food for six hours.” Or, “Because I’m not talking about my real emotions with my partner.” Or whatever. I’ve been really close to relationship coaching many, many times.
I just think, “Oh I think I’m not ready for that yet.” Actually that was soft talk, I just caught myself soft talking that, yeah. See that’s the mechanism. I also didn’t charge enough because I thought I wasn’t accomplished enough, I needed to learn more in order to be like … to coach for people.
In fact, you learn through your coachees and that’s how you evolve. So maybe I’ll be a relationship coach next year, I don’t know.
April: All right, write it down if you want it to happen, right?
Elli Hachmann: Exactly.
April: Oh, how funny. How funny. Yeah, how we evolve, is so interesting. Very cool. We certainly learn by experiences and I think that can be as good as a teacher is any, especially when it comes to coaching other people, coming back to the connecting with people based on the experience you had or empathizing. We evolve in so many ways and we can help people evolve as well.
Elli Hachmann: Yes and help them take responsibility. If someone can stay with their emotions and guide themselves through an emotion, they’re taking responsibility and in the word responsibility is the word response. So they’re giving themselves the answer.
April: You just blew my mind. That’s brilliant.
Elli Hachmann: I was actually going somewhere else. There’s a really cool quote by a book author called Marianne Williamson. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of her? She’s more like the spiritual area.
And she said that on the topic of taking responsibility, it doesn’t matter where you got your disfunction from, or whatever, because we know all this stuff now. She says, it doesn’t matter where you got it from, it’s yours now.
Elli Hachmann: That’s so powerful. It’s theirs now and they can decide, “Am I going to play victim? Am I going to call them my emotions or my wounds, or am I actually going to take action? Am I going to make a decision to be different?” Make a decision to look at things differently and be open to new perspective. The only thing that you need, in my opinion, is willingness. You don’t have to know what it’s going to look like. You can’t, if you haven’t had any experience with that, you can be willing to see it differently and that’s …
April: That’s a really good point.
Elli Hachmann: That’s what happened to me also with The Strong Coach. I had a website builder already, starting to work on my website. I was like, “We need to stop because I’m doing this coaching program and I think everything’s going to look different. So just not do anything until I know what I’m doing, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” I felt it was going to be different than anything I’ve ever done and I couldn’t put it in words. I couldn’t put it in a business plan. I knew it would come to me. It sounds so cliche, but I knew it would come. It was hard because I needed to be patient and I wanted to make money and I wanted to do all this stuff and something told me, wait, just don’t create anything yet.
April: Very cool. Tell us what you are doing these days after The Strong Coach and what are you doing with your business? What do you have going on? Tell us what you’re up to.
Elli Hachmann: I’m moving into motherhood and in the beginning it was like, “Oh, I’m going to earn less money because I’m going to have less time.” Then it was, “No actually, I’m going to build this whole online system, so even when I go on my child leave, I may have less time, you don’t know that. I can still earn money. I can still coach. I can still sell eBooks or courses.” So online business is perfect for a stay at home mom and through The Strong Coach I was able to recognize some of those limiting mindsets that women have when they become mothers.
It’s just out there. “Oh you’re going to stay home and your husband’s going to go work.” Right? Like all those kinds of things.
April: Yeah. Yeah, but you’re able to see more possibilities?
Elli Hachmann: So finding out I was pregnant was actually the engine that motivated me to lean in 150% and make a really good business out of this before.
April: Oh wow, very cool.
Elli Hachmann: The past year I’ve created my online business, a program for women to become healthy, strong and confident. They seek me out for their eating-related problems. They buy eBooks, they listen to podcasts and I’ve done a lot of work. I started The Strong Coach, I believe it was November, 2018 and I’ve been building my business since then, so less than a year and it was enough time though, to save enough money just in case. I’m committing because I like to go 100% to the things I’m committing to, be 100% mom for the next couple of months, not to create anything, becoming a mom for me is the best time to go within.
And really harness that God-given gift of being a woman and being feminine and actually being reborn. I realized that for myself, I was reborn when my son was born.
April: Oh wow.
Elli Hachmann: I was a different person. I had my CrossFit box at that time. So I hardly had time to really dig into that and I have the opportunity now to be like, “Wow.” I can really just sit back and watch what happens, take this transition as a chance to evolve as a woman, to become even more mature and to let that transfer into my business later.
I can see myself coaching more and more women that have kids and families and want to make nutrition work in their house, in their lives. I can’t be that person if I don’t allow myself to experience this experience and be able to learn from it. So that’s my commitment. For the next 12 months, I’m taking over my old clients. They’re still going to be coached. I’m not taking anyone new though. So I have a lot of time. Do another course somewhere, continue my growth.
I guess at the end I will probably add that I see myself as I’m a role model for so many young women and women with kids and it’s not just about me being a coach, it’s also about who I can help. So if I don’t decide to keep growing, I’m not of service to my clients. So if I let myself down, I let other people down as well. I want to continue to help my female clients to go deep and that means, in this area of womanhood, of family, maybe also helping kids become mindful eaters. I go really deep first before I can authentically, at least, coach.
April: Good deal. Well that seems like a great place to end it on. Thank you so much Elli, for taking the time out of your day to come on and talk to us about coaching. We’ll post this and this is going live on Facebook as well, so you guys can see what Elli’s doing as well. We’ll post her links, as well if she would like us to. If you want to know more about The Strong Coach, we are doing a whole lot of cool things for The Strong Coach. One of them is The Strong Coach Summit, so you can go to strongcoach.com and check out more information on that. Again, thank you Elli.