More Than Fitness And Weight Loss: Coaching Mind, Heart And Body

Posted on December 26th, 2010 in Press

July 13, 2010 –

Rob Forcelli is among the most popular fitness coaches in Westchester County, N.Y.  This coach believes his focus on the mind/body connection is what makes his approach effective, and he’s made believers out of his many clients over the years.

With more than two decades of experience in private personal training and group sessions, as many as 75 fitness enthusiasts often line up a half hour in advance to take his classes.

Though his followers would be thrilled if Forcelli would add more sessions to his schedule, these days he’s turning his attention to helping people whose health is suffering due to their weight. An extremely overweight person “is someone who needs me in their corner, that’s motivating for me,” he says.

Before agreeing to work with someone who needs to lose weight for health reasons, Forcelli promises to give his best effort, and asks the potential client to make the same commitment. He warns against expecting fast results or making radical changes. Instead, he sets small goals such as cutting out one sugary soda per day and keeping a food diary. As one goal is mastered, another is established.

Exercise, too, increases incrementally. The starting regimen may be simple stretching and walking on a track, with more challenging activities added as abilities increase. He also creates personalized fitness programs for each client to do on the days between sessions.

The coach helps clients to calculate the annual calorie reduction achieved by each change, so that they understand the benefits of what may seem like baby steps. For example, cutting out that single 12-ounce soda per day would result in an annual reduction of about 55,000 calories, yielding a loss of more than 15 pounds from making one small change.

Forcelli keeps his guidance firm and positive, communicating clearly and directly, repeating and reinforcing the regimen he expects his coachees to follow. He respects the effort his trainees are making and encourages them to do the same. “Extremely overweight clients are extremely fragile,” he says. “You have to be sensitive about what you say to them, they can be easily discouraged.”

Guilt is not part of the program. When a client has a lapse, Forcelli doesn’t respond with a punitive attitude. “That’s the beautiful thing about getting in shape, there’s always tomorrow,” he says. “Don’t put your body into starvation mode, just go back on the program. Don’t do extra denial because a day is lost. It’s not healthy for your body.”

In addition to the training sessions, Forcelli is available by phone or email virtually around the clock, offering advice and support.

He follows up after each session with an email highlighting the positive aspects. The client may respond with a question or with an apology for not doing his or her best, leading to an exchange of emails evaluating the challenges in the previous session and planning the focus of the next one.

The first month is crucial to a coachee’s likelihood for success. There may be 12 coaching sessions on the schedule during those 30 days, plus 100 to 200 reinforcing and encouraging emails.

Clients are urged to pick up the phone if they run into any problems or feel as if they’re heading for a lapse. Forcelli listens to problems, offers encouragement and help.

He believes there is a strong connection between physical, mental and spiritual health, and that improving the physical component will help the other two, reducing stress and creating greater serenity and self-confidence.