Meet Jake Eisenhut, Founder of Revived Strength [Interview]

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  • Listening to Clients and Customized Sessions
  • Client-centered Training
  • Learning to Delegate

Starting your own fitness business is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your success in this industry will require a lot of fundamental education, a lot of focus, and maybe even, a little bit of faith.

Today, we’re talking to Jake Eisenhut who discusses how his passion for exercise and his passion for serving others serve as the driving forces behind his successful fitness practice.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, schedule a demo today.

Meet Jake Eisenhut, Founder of Revived Strength

jake-eisenhut-revived-strength

Schimri Yoyo: Welcome back. This is Schimri Yoyo with exercise.com and we are continuing our series of interviews with fitness experts. And today we have the pleasure of having Jake Eisenhut of Revived Strength. He’s the founder and owner of Revived Strength outside of Columbus, Ohio.

And so Jake, thank you for joining us.

Jake Eisenhut: Yes, no, thank you so much for the opportunity to share my experiences and story and business with you guys.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and let’s jump right into it. How did you first develop a love for health and fitness?

Jake Eisenhut: I mean really, it’s kind of innate in me. I grew up playing sports and outside running around neighborhood kids and stuff and then got into organized sports as a kid and then started working out in my local YMCA as a teenager. That just kind of grew from there.

And then I was always interested in the science kind of medical field. I went to Ohio State, not sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I was kind of heading towards the pre-med sports medicine route and then took an intro to exercise science class and, man, it was like love at first sight and I was like, “I didn’t realize you could major in this.” And yeah, yeah, and kind of the rest is history.

Schimri Yoyo: Oh, that’s cool. And so you mentioned growing up, playing some organized sports. What were some of the sports you played growing up?

Jake Eisenhut: I played a lot of soccer, baseball, and basketball and then stopped playing basketball at high school level and then continued with baseball and soccer through high school.

Schimri Yoyo: Oh, yeah, cool. What positions did you play in soccer and baseball?

Jake Eisenhut: In baseball, I was outfield, centerfield, leftfield. I was a lefty and I couldn’t pitch so that was either first base or the outfield for me. I was quick, so centerfield was my jam. And then soccer, I played a lot of outside mid in high school.

Schimri Yoyo: Yeah. That’s cool. And now when you were growing up, you said you started doing a little bit of weight training at your local YMCA. Did you ever use a strength conditioning coach as an amateur or personal trainer?

Jake Eisenhut: No, I never officially, if ever, hired a strength coach or a trainer in high school. Actually, we didn’t even have a strength coach there. It was just the head coaches and stuff at our school. And then, I’ve never—I’ve hired a coach for, I’ve done a couple of triathlons a couple of years back and I hired a coach for that.

But yeah, no, not anything formal. Now, if I were ever to compete in something I would most certainly hire a coach. But yeah, not at the moment.

Schimri Yoyo: No, that’s good. So, you went to THE Ohio State University. Who is your favorite Buckeye of all time?

Jake Eisenhut: Oh man, that’s a tough question. There’s been a lot. Obviously, the kind of first thing that pops into my mind is kind of Jesse Owens or Jack Nicklaus, something like that. But does it have to be a graduate of Ohio State?

Schimri Yoyo: I mean it’s your question to do with you what you will. It doesn’t have to be a graduate. They could have attended, I guess, have some ties.

Jake Eisenhut:  I’ve got two people. One, I would probably have to say, my wife. She’s a graduate of Ohio State as well, so I’d pick her.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s awesome.

Jake Eisenhut: But, other than that, I would probably say currently Coach Urban Meyer and really for reasons outside of his football accomplishments. He’s really close, actually the pastor of my church. And they’ve started this kind of men’s group in leading some of us.

And so I meet with him every couple of weeks and just hearing him talk about his story and life and experiences, even outside of football and his family and stuff is inspiring and motivating. So, currently, I’d probably have to go with Coach and my wife.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s awesome. That’s pretty good. I grew up on—actually, honestly, rooting for Charles Woodson. Charles Woodson is my favorite college football player of all time.

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, he’s a good one.

Schimri Yoyo: Yeah, even though he’s an Ohio boy, who ended up going to Michigan. But my favorite Buckeye of all time is Eddie George, so I watched that game religiously. Eddie George is my guy. I’ve had multiple Eddie George jerseys, Ohio State and Tennessee Titans.

eddie-george-ohio-state-jersey

Jake Eisenhut: Oh yeah, myself included there as well. Yeah.

Schimri Yoyo: So that’s good. One of my best friends, he still has multiple Brutus figurines and we always get it started up after every touchdown and get the fight song going. [Editor’s note: No. 2 on the playlist below]

Jake Eisenhut: Oh, absolutely. No doubt. Go Bucks.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s right. Well, when you’re not training or running your business, what else do you do for fun?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, outside of training, obviously, which I enjoy, recently my family and I have moved out to kind of the country and we have some land out here now, so taking care of that property, mowing and take some time to do that.

And, obviously, playing with my kids is a big one. So I try to spend as much time with them when I’m not training or working on the business. And actually, my newest hobby right now is raising chickens. I’ve got 28 chickens, so, that’s fun.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s awesome. That sounds so fun. Not my type of work, I’m sure. I actually have a couple of friends who also raise chickens so we are able to get some eggs from them. So that’s all so cool, but I know that’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of maintenance, keeping up that coop.

Jake Eisenhut: It is. It is. But it’s fun. We have enough eggs for my family and friends and give them out to clients, things like that. So, that’s cool.

Schimri Yoyo: It’s nice. And it’s another ministry.

Jake Eisenhut: That’s right.

Service-Focused Strength Coaching

Schimri Yoyo: Right. Now, if you could describe your training philosophy and methodology in one word, what would it be?

Jake Eisenhut: Hmm. I’d probably say client-centered, not quite one word, maybe hyphenated. But just because every client comes to me with different experiences and backgrounds and failures, essentially, and passion and different goals for sure. So, treating each one individually, not just with their program based on their goals, but how you motivate them and interact with them is different from client to client.

Schimri Yoyo: Yeah, that makes sense. And I’ll allow the hyphenated word, just this once, though.

Jake Eisenhut: Alright. Good deal.

Schimri Yoyo: Just this once.

Now, I went on your website and your faith is obviously a big part of your life and how you train. Can you just speak a little bit about how your faith does impact the way you train your clients or what that does on the overall culture that you built in your training?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, I really appreciate you asking me about that. Yeah, my faith is the center of my life, so it’s essentially naturally going to come out in my training philosophy and in my business. And that’s really one of the motivating factors to starting my own business was to be able to have freedom with that if I choose [to share] and how much of that to share.

And currently, I think my faith just comes out with how I treat people respectfully and individually and just loving your neighbor as yourself kind of thing. So, that’s how I treat all my clients. I’m not going to degrade them or condescend them if they do something that’s out of the program or off track or something like that.

My clients know that we don’t necessarily talk religion or talk faith necessarily throughout sessions and I don’t necessarily push that on anybody, but it’s certainly free to be able to express that as much as I would choose to.

Schimri Yoyo: Well, that’s good, yeah. It’s an aspect of providing that relational aspect and good customer service. So that seems to permeate with the way you interact with your clients.

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, absolutely.

Schimri Yoyo: Good. Now, in your opinion, how are speed, strength, and flexibility all related to one another when it comes to training?

Jake Eisenhut: I think all three of those are a component of someone living and performing optimally. They’re all three different. You can focus on each one individually. And actually I would even swap out flexibility for mobility. Those are all aspects of mobility, strength, and speed.

For my particular clientele, who are mostly general population, I would maybe classify speed as more of a power or a force production, if you will. And making sure as we age that we don’t lose that or we slow that down a little bit.

[Editor’s note: Check out the video below to observe speed training and force production via a sled exercise.]

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. And how do you incorporate nutrition as part of your training and coaching?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, I’ve actually recently gone through John Berardi’s Precision Nutrition Certification and it’s definitely a habit-based kind of intuitive eating nutrition program that I offer either for training clients or non-training clients.

It’s certainly revolved around habits and listening to your hunger cues and things like that as opposed to counting your macros and things like that, which there’s some controversy between which approach is better, and really, ultimately, it depends on the individual.

Schimri Yoyo: That makes a lot of sense. And how do you help your clients to be proactive both in their training and in their recovery and rest?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, that’s big. Really every time a client comes in to train, the first thing I will do is to ask them how they’re feeling, if they have any aches and pains going on right now, how was their sleep last night, how was their hydration and nutrition coming in. And we’ll adjust that training day accordingly. If they’re coming in with a big migraine or some major stress or something of any sort really, we can adjust that program.

Every time they come in, I’ve got their workout written up on a board, but certainly adjusting that throughout the session. And then, as far as recovery goes, that’s, in my eyes, one of the most kind of overlooked aspects of a training program or the easiest to overlook.

But it’s super important for athletes and clients to understand how they need to recover well and go to a yoga class or spend some time stretching or foam rolling and things like that so that way they’re able to train again and perform again the next day and so on. So yeah, it’s hard to get people to see the value in recovery as much as the training and not spending as much time doing recovery in our actual session.

Schimri Yoyo: How much of your time would you say is devoted to educating your clients on the importance of that recovery so that they understand the purpose of it?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, that’s a good question actually. I think it really depends on the individual as well. You know, if someone is constantly having nagging aches and pains in their lower back or their shoulder or something like that, we’re going to spend a significant amount of time either working on some prehab movements and exercises at the beginning of the session to help with that.

But then, ultimately, if they’re having this pain, this nagging pain for a long period of time, then there’s something that they’re doing in their day-to-day life that’s causing it and not getting the relief. So, yeah, it really depends on the person. If they’re feeling good and they’re mobile and they’re not complaining of aches and pains, we’ll probably not spend as much time on it other than kind of basic stretching and things like that.

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Schimri Yoyo: Okay. And how do you balance helping clients push or reach their physical peaks without burning them out or putting them at risk for injury?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, that’s a good [question] too. It starts out with, well, kind of what we just talked about, seeing how they’re feeling for that day in particular. And then, from a program standpoint as a whole, it really comes down to building that relationship with that client and asking them questions and listening to what they have to say and then adjusting their program accordingly.

If they’re super sore from a prior session, then you know that either those movements were new to them or the amount of load was more than what they’ve had. That causes some of that soreness. Some clients like that, some clients don’t really want to be pushed that hard and you kind of have to meet them in the middle.

But then, also my clientele aren’t necessarily—they don’t need a really strict 12-month periodized program with different mesocycles and macrocycles and things like that. Keeping the workouts fresh and new, most of my clients in here aren’t going to repeat a workout ever.

They’ll have certain movements in there and we’ll definitely progress movements, but they can look forward to coming in here and knowing that they’re not going to do the exact same thing that they did the prior time that they’re in here. That definitely helps with the burnout and allowing them to train for years on end.

Challenges and Rewards of Entrepreneurship

Schimri Yoyo: Oh, that’s good. Now, let’s focus a little bit on your day to day business and some of the duties and activities that you perform as an entrepreneur. First of all, what was the most difficult aspect for you in transitioning from being an employee to starting your own business?

Jake Eisenhut: The first two things pop into my mind is one, leaving my gym. I obviously had to leave some clients and stuff behind. So, losing those relationships essentially was hard. But I would say just from a running a business standpoint, at a gym, I was just a trainer.

As a business owner, I’m a trainer, I’m the marketer, I’m the bookkeeper, I’m the janitor, I’m the equipment guy. I wear lots of different hats now. That was challenging to learn all those roles.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. Now how have you begun to delegate or kind of ease out of some of those roles? Or have you?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, no, I certainly have. I started out trying to do some of the IT stuff, website stuff on my own and it’s just not my wheelhouse. That was the first thing that I hired out and I got someone to create my website.

I have the power to adjust things on it, I’ve learned that much, but they’re in control of all the behind-the-scenes stuff that I wanted no part of once I kind of start getting into it. Ultimately, I’d like to task out a lot of the areas that either I’m not good at or I don’t like doing within time, for sure.

Schimri Yoyo: Nice. The power of delegation and outsourcing.

Jake Eisenhut: No doubt.

Schimri Yoyo: Now, brag about yourself a little bit and your staff. What makes Revived Strength unique? Especially in the Columbus, Ohio area?

Jake Eisenhut: I mean, honestly, I think any personal trainer could say that what makes them or me different would be myself because that’s ultimately who’s building the relationship with the client. Someone might have the same training facility or training philosophies even as myself, but ultimately the difference is going to be the relationship with that coach or with that client.

And then, with me, I feel like I’ve got some good knowledge within kinesiology and exercise science and the science and evidence behind proper training programs and things like that. I’ve been training for almost 10 years now. It’ll be 10 years this December (2019). And then, I think mixed that with—kind of going back into my faith and how I treat people and things like that—are all three combined to maybe separate me from the next guy.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. And so how do you decide whether to take on a new client or whether to maybe delegate that to someone else?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, really a lot of my in-person training clients come from referrals of other clients. And so that really eases having to go actually find other in-person clients. But as far as taking on new ones, I think my reputation and any content that I put out, it kind of weeds out anybody that wouldn’t be a good match for me, at least to start.

I don’t train a lot of bodybuilders or physique competitors or, really even, high-level athletes. None of my content or website verbiage or anything like that attracts those types of clients and individuals. So I think making sure all of what’s out there on the Internet matches [me] to whom I like to help and whom I want to help.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. That actually leads me to my next question. Can you give a little more detail of how you’re using technology and social media and the internet to promote your business?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah. Social media. I mean that’s tough. It’s ever-changing and it’s there and it’s not going away. So, as a business owner, learning how to time-manage, working in my business. I was training versus working on it and then how much time to devote to social media.

Right now, I’m at a point where I can’t take on any more in-person training clients myself, so the social media aspect is, it’s more to help other people and to provide information out there for them and not necessarily trying to gain new clients as far as an in-person standpoint goes.

Schimri Yoyo: What strategic partnerships, if any, have you been able to foster within your community there in the Columbus area?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah, I think that’s huge. You know, I have a good relationship with a physical therapist who I can call up and send a client to if I need to. Same thing with an acupuncturist and dry needling and cupping guy that I will refer out to. Same thing, massage therapists, chiropractic care.

And then actually recently I’ve got a doctor that I’ve been training for years and years and she’s actually kind of leaving traditional medicine to start an integrative and functional medicine practice. So being able to build a relationship and partnership there is something I’m looking forward to as well.

So yeah, having a community of professionals, like-minded professionals who we all have our expertise in different areas even though it’s revolved around health and fitness or mobility or something like that.

Schimri Yoyo: So that’s good. Now, what would you say is next for your business? Where do you see yourself in the next two to five years?

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah. What’s next? I mean, I really want to—We just moved to this community that we’re into and I really like to get more involved with this community, providing workshops and events for them, just kind of helping them as much as I possibly can.

And then I have a project in the works that I really want to help—My ultimate goal is to help as many people as I possibly can improve their health and improve their fitness. Whether that’s with me physically or through me referring out to somebody else.

So, I have a project in the works that will help highlight—kind of similar to what you guys are wanting to do as well. Highlight good quality trainers and coaches and programs that are out there and helping weed through some of the noise that’s out there on the internet for my network and family and friends.

[Editor’s note: The health and fitness industry is growing in its emphasis on continuing education and professional development. See the video below to see fitness professionals learning from each other to enhance the influence in their communities.]

It kills me to have family and friends start a diet or something like that because there’s celebrity has suggested it for them or something like that. I want to be the resource for them, even if I can’t physically train them for them to get the help that they need.

Schimri Yoyo: Oh, that’s a valiant goal and endeavor. So again, Jake, thank you for your time and just for the content you’ve provided us today. Just one last question for you before we let you go.

Do you have any books or podcasts or other resources that you’d like to recommend to our audience that you’ve benefited from? It doesn’t necessarily have to be all fitness-related, either.

Jake Eisenhut: Yeah. Cool. Yeah, I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts and I still do love picking up an actual book and reading and flipping through the pages, kind of old school I guess now. But yeah, as far as fitness goes, or actually I should say, I try to always have a book or an audiobook or podcasts in three different areas, one on business and leadership, something around there and then one on more of health and fitness-related and then something more kind of personal, whether it’s spirit-related or parenting-related or just enjoyment, fun.

But a podcast that comes to my mind right now for health fitness-wise would be, Stronger By Science. They put out great content, education and evidence-based resource. And then let’s see, Precision Nutrition has a podcast with stuff, the NSCA Coaching Podcast, I’ll listen to as well. Of course, those are trusted sources.

And then, book-wise I’m reading a book right now or listening to it, it’s called Motivational Interviewing in Nutrition and Fitness.

Schimri Yoyo: Those are some great resources and I’m sure that our audience will be happy to check them out in time. So again, thank you, Jake, for your time. Much continued success to you and your family and to Revived Strength there in the Columbus area. And I look forward to seeing how your Buckeyes do during this college football season.

Jake Eisenhut: Oh yes, absolutely. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m grateful for it.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright, thanks, man. Have a good one.

Jake Eisenhut: You, too.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, schedule a demo today.