EP 156: Lessons From Building An 8-Figure Nutrition Coaching Business and Coaching 10’000’s Of Client’s w/ Mike Doehla

I was really looking to this conversation with Mike Doehla, both from a standpoint of getting insight of what type of nutrition approach has worked of the 10k’s of clients Stronger U has helped but then also how Mike built up a powerhouse online nutrition coaching company to an 8-figure business without much marketing spend, and the behind the scenes look of the growth and obstacles along the way.

Mike Doehla Founder/CEO of Stronger U Nutrition created an online nutrition coaching company that helps tens of thousands of individuals in more than 50 countries. His personal mission is to help people have a more enjoyable life and he loves being able to improve the way the world eats. Mike enjoys travel, fitness, entrepreneurship, and good food. He resides in New Windsor NY with his wife Crista and his cat.


  • How Mike went from working a job he hated to pursuing something he enjoyed and “accidentally” having it blow up.
  • The methods that help you lose fat are not the same than the methods that help you keep it off.
  • Why “planners” have the greatest success when it comes to losing weight sustainably.
  • Discover who your teammates are when it comes to your body transformation, this is critical.
  •  Too many food rules lead to an unsuccessful long term transformation, every time.
  • What are best way to help clients that have failed before instill sustainable habits and have patience.
  • Why people are intimidated by fitness apps and what is a better approach to help clients succeed.
  • Mike & I break down examples of how to create a habit that a client can successful do and build up their confidence.
  • How Mike was lunatic about response times and created an amazing customer experience.
  • The basic structure Stronger U used to build up to 10’s of thousands of clients.
  • Why creating too many boundaries in your coaching could be negatively affecting your success.
  • The step-by-step process Mike used to created the most engaged nutrition community online.
  • Growing the coaching team from the inside out with clients that have had success and understood peoples struggles.
  • How lack of certain systems and more autonomy was the reason Stronger U could grow at the speed it did.
  • What Mike spent more time, money and attention on than paid marketing and how it affected the company.
  • Hiring the right people, customer service standards, nutrition philosophy, and caring about your clients; the key factors in success of any coaching business.
  • Why being desperate is THE best way to repel sales and growth.
  • DON’T rush to build an app for your company, here’s what you need to do first!
  • The powerful steps that Mike took to initially market his business and grow it fast (most people don’t do this anymore!).
  • How this one simple strategy can help you get leads and clients every day, starting today.
  • How Mike was able to handle 350 nutrition coaching clients by himself at the peak.
  • The structure of pay and growth for Stronger U coaching clients (and how the company was built up to 80 coaches).
  • What Mike believes about balance when it comes to building up your career and your business.


Mike Doehla Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mikedoehla/

Stronger U Nutrition https://strongeru.com/

Luka Hocevar course www.LukaHocevar.com

Vigor Life Podcast (iTunes)  h

Vigor Life Podcast on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/0gp1uXtwfRUcBkfS1P1uim?si=kcUu2vhPRwuxdV5kTzQrug

Luka Hocevar YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ29YcBh-g6onRujX3wD_XA?view_as=subscriber

EP155: Building Speed and Athleticism & Avoiding Knee, Achilles Injuries After The Age Of 35 w/ Derek Hansen

Always a pleasure with tons of insights talking with my friend Derek Hansen when it comes to training speed, athleticism and preventing injuries. This time around we talked about keeping yourself athletic and fast, while avoiding ACL and achilles tears after the age of 35.

Derek M. Hansen has been a world-renowned sport performance consultant and advisor to some of the top organizations, teams, and athletes in professional and elite sports over the last 20 years. His coaching background and involvement in return-to-play protocols spans more than 30 years. His areas of expertise include sport speed development, running mechanics, return-to-play management, strategic program planning, and electrical stimulation technologies. His clients have included top organizations, such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, NCAA, and Bundesliga. He has also coached and advised thousands of athletes in the professional and collegiate ranks.


  • Building performance and athleticism after age 35 and doing it the smart way.
  • What should be we blame on more injuries, surfaces, shoes, training, lack of training?
  • What is the process and progression for getting somebody ready to get back into sports.
  • What can we learn from triathlon/ironman training when it comes to getting ready to perform on the court/field.
  • 70% of NFL players don’t make it back after an achilles tears; put yourself back into the position to avoid them.
  • The step-by-step progression if you are lifting weights but not doing jumps or sprints, here’s what to do.
  • Why its KEY to work in dynamic movements, and which ones, to train reflexes, eccentric components, speed at which your tissues are prepared for the activity that you will go into.
  • How changing up exercises selection, volume, intensity, and surfaces can improve your preparedness for sport.
  • Why micro-dosing works for many general population clients and how to apply it to your programs.
  • A missing link for most – the importance of improving your calf, achilles and foot strength inside of the gym.
  • Getting zone 2 work in and aerobic plyometrics to improve the health of the tendon and prevent atrophy.
  • Regeneration after the age of 35 and changing up your programming so you can recover and adapt.
  • The power of training journals and tracking your training to be able to see your progress and not over or under do it.
  • Non surgical approach to an achilles tear, how to repair it without surgery.
  • A return to play process after pulling your hamstring.
  • It’s important to not avoid the things that hurt you but rather dose them back in the right way to get back to 100% and beyond.
  • Derek shares how to build yourself up to playing full court basketball games, a step-by-step approach.
  • The 10 x 10 approach to return to play, as well as building up the tolerance of your tissues using this strategy.


Derek Hansen Instagram https://www.instagram.com/derekmhansen/

Sprint Coach Website  https://www.sprintcoach.com/

Running Mechanics https://www.runningmechanics.com/

Luka Hocevar course www.LukaHocevar.com

Vigor Life Podcast (iTunes)  h

Vigor Life Podcast on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/0gp1uXtwfRUcBkfS1P1uim?si=kcUu2vhPRwuxdV5kTzQrug

Luka Hocevar YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ29YcBh-g6onRujX3wD_XA?view_as=subscriber

Add Stability to Your Single Leg Training for Strength, Skill, and Performance 

By: Andrew Coates

Single leg training is a pillar of athletic performance training. Only three sports move in perfect bilateral symmetry all the time, powerlifting, rowing/dragonboat racing, and potato sack racing. The absurdity of including the third example should prove the point of how rare it is to exclusively move our legs in unison. Everything else has a significant component where each leg must move individually so it makes sense to do a lot of your training single leg.
One of the main challenges with single leg training is the limit on overload potential because of lack of balance and stability. And while balance and stability are skills we desire and are best trained with “unstable” single leg exercises, we don’t want to artificially limit our ability to overload them.
Stability isn’t a binary state as much as it’s a spectrum where we apply more or less stability to achieve the desired effect. The more points of stability or “external ground” we create by contact with the ground or stable external surfaces like racks and benches, the more we can overload an exercise. Pure overload isn’t the singular goal of training, but we want to provide enough to force muscles, tendons, joints, and bones to adapt stronger.
We think of a squat as stable, but it’s stable only compared to a lunge or pistol squat, and relatively unstable compared to leg press. A squat has two points of external ground, the surface area of both feet. Compare this with a leg press where your back, hips, hands, and feet are all grounded across a greater surface area. It’s why the average person can leg press more than they can squat. Sometimes a squat is the right choice for a goal, sometimes a leg press is. There are also in between options along this spectrum like a Hatfield safety bar squat where both our hands hold onto bars pinned to the rack in front of us.
Meanwhile we desire more single leg training to develop more athleticism. But for some people, skill and balance are a work in progress and a limiting factor. We can address this by adding added points of external ground to provide stability and increase our ability to not only load these exercises, but to control them through greater range of motion, which develops skill and mobility. The more we load and better we control movement through range of motion, the greater strength, skill, and ability we have to move into that range, and to exert force. Greater mobility and force production translate into better performance in life and in sport, whether getting up and down from the ground to play with grandkids or breaking tackles in rugby.
Bottom line: it’s ok to add stability to single leg exercises, and to use a combination of exercises of varied stability across the spectrum of options. Here are five excellent single leg exercise variations with added stability to add to your program for greater athleticism for life:

1) Supported Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts

Single leg Romanian deadlifts(SLRDLs) create a loaded stretch and three dimensional tension around your hips, glutes, and hamstrings no other exercise including bilateral RDLs can replicate. The downside is most people struggle with the balance to perform SLRDLs well, let alone with meaningful load. We have a perfect compromise to gain the benefits but remain stable.
The supported version is also a great teaching tool to gain strength and skill toward performing these without support.
  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand and brace against a inclined bench or similar object with the opposing hand.
  • Stand on one foot, the same side as the hand holding the weight.
  • Elevate your opposite foot with a slight knee bend(soft knee).
  • Start with your planted knee soft.
  • Lock your chin neutral to your collarbones and lock your ribs down to your pelvis to maintain a neutral spine.
  • Hinge slowly with control at your hips by leading with your back heel “kicking” high and away, toes pointed down.
  • Allow your torso to pivot forward in response to elevating your leg.
  • Keep your braced elbow soft and allow your elbow to bend to absorb your body lowering toward the bench.
  • Keep your shoulders, torso, and hips level, avoid rotating “open” on the bench side of your body.
  • Hinge to the point of maximize range at your hip without rounding your lower back or squatting down at your knee.
  • You should feel a deep stretch into your hamstrings and glute.
  • Reverse direction with a quick thrust of your planted hip forward and kicking your free leg forward until you stand upright.
  • Your planted knee will finished locked.
  • Soften your planted knee and repeat.
  • Perform 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps per leg.

2) Supported Bulgarian Squats 

Bulgarian squats are torturous and universally loathed. They’re taxing and soreness inducing. They’re also one of the best strength, athleticism, and mobility building exercises available. They require skill and balance, and sometimes trading off some loading potential is worth the added stability and control, especially if you’re recovering from injury or de-loading.
-Setup in a rack and place a bench or single leg squat stand behind you.
-Hold the pillar of the rack with one hand and a dumbbell in the other.
-The hand you hold the weight in can be the same or opposite of the working leg, just as long as you’re consistent when you switch sides.
-Elevate your back leg on the bench or squat stand behind you, laces down.
-Lock your chin neutral to your collarbones, and your ribs down to your pelvis to maintain a neutral spine.
-Breath in, brace down.
-Squat by loading your front leg, while allowing your back knee to bend down to nearly touch the ground(or padding).
-Squat back up pushing your front foot into the ground.
-Finish with a soft lockout of your front knee, finish an exhale, breath in, brace, and repeat.
-Perform 3-4 sets of 5-10 per leg.

3) Supported Safety Squat Bar Bulgarian Squats

Luka and I are big fans of this exercise. One of the limitations of single leg training is potential for overload. Luka can still hold 100 pound dumbbells and wrap chains around his shoulders and crank out Bulgarian squats, but adding just a little stability allows for a lot more overload, in Luka’s case over 315 lbs for upwards of 8 reps per leg.
-Setup a safety squat bar in a rack and place a bench or single leg squat stand behind you.
-Setup the safety spotter arms high enough to touch with your hands while standing, or hold handles attached to the rack in front of you.
-Elevate your back leg on the bench or squat stand behind you, laces down.
-Lock your chin neutral to your collarbones, and your ribs down to your pelvis to maintain a neutral spine.
-Breath in, brace down.
-Squat by loading your front leg, while allowing your back knee to bend down to nearly touch the ground(or padding).
-Hold the safety spotter arms or handles firmly. You can push through them, but most of the work should be done with your legs.
-Squat back up pushing your front foot into the ground.
-Finish with a soft lockout of your front knee, finish an exhale, breath in, brace, and repeat.
-Perform 3-4 sets of 5-10 per leg.

4) Kickstand Romanian Deadlifts

Supported single leg Romanian deadlifts fix a big issue with balance, but having only one hand to hold weight limits loading potential. We can instead switch the added support to the opposite leg, freeing both hands to hold weight and allowing for more overload, while keeping the work primarily in one leg. Combined with the added stability of your off leg touching the floor, Kickstand or B-Stance RDLs serve as a great single leg hinge variation.
  • Stand holding dumbbells or a barbell in both hands.
  • Stand with the foot of your working leg flat on the ground and knee in a soft bend.
  • Stand on the toes of your kickstand foot in line with the heel of your working foot, or a few inches behind, and elevate your heel.
  • Lock your chin to your collarbones and ribs to your pelvis to maintain a neutral spine.
  • Inhale and brace your core.
  • Initiate your hinge by pushing both hips back, while maintaining the soft knee angle of the working leg.
  • Avoid squatting down with the working leg.
  • Pushing your hips back will pivot your torso forward, creating a slow and controlled stretch of your working hamstrings and glute.
  • Pivot to maximum stretch/hip range of motion, then thrust your hips forward, reversing direction in a quick but controlled push.
  • Lockout your hips and working knee at the top, resist the urge to lockout at your lumbar spine.
  • Exhale through the positive portion of the rep or at the top, then inhale and brace, soften your working knee, and repeat for reps.
  • Do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps per side.

5) Suspension Strap Pistol Squats 

True pistol squats are difficult or outright impossible for most people. They’re far more often a feat of performance than a useful training method. For a skill to be useful to people it needs to present achievable challenge. Single leg squats to a box or skater squats are great single leg training alternatives, as is holding suspension straps for added stability while doing a pistol.
Though hard to overload beyond bodyweight, even bodyweight here provides excellent training stimulus and allows for the development of skill, balance, and joint strength and stability. If your progress leaves the too easy add load by wearing a weighted vest or chains across your shoulders.
  • Stand holding suspension straps in fully extended arms.
  • Walk you feet forward to create a 30-45 degree angle between your torso and the ground.
  • Place your weight on one foot while lifting the other outstretched forward and off the ground.
  • Breathe in and brace your core.
  • Initiate a single leg squat by dropping your working hip down, absorbing your descent with your planted heel.
  • Control your descent into the fullest depth you can through knee and hip flexion without rounding your back.
  • Keep your torso straight and leaned back with fully extended arms.
  • Reverse direction by pushing the ground away under your foot until you fully extend your knee and hip at the top.
  • Do 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps per leg.

How to incorporate these exercise into your workout:

None of these exercises require a special plan. Use any of these exercises as an alternative to any single leg exercise in your program. If you want to increase your ratio of single leg work, substitute for any current bilateral exercise like leg press or seated leg extensions.
If your program calls for a hip dominant movement, the kickstand or supported SL RDLs substitute flawlessly. If your program calls for a knee and quad dominant exercise, the suspension strap pistols or either supported Bulgarian squat variation sub seamlessly.
If the goal is overload for strength, bias toward the supported safety squat bar Bulgarians and kickstand RDLs. If you’re seeing more skill development as a bridge toward unsupported less stable variations, bias toward the supported SLRDLs and supported Bulgarians. All options work if your main goal is developing strength and control through greater range of motion(mobility).
Sometimes we just need some variety in our training. Doing the same exercises can irritate joints or feel mentally stale. A novel variation that’s fundamentally sound and trains the same qualities we need from our program is often the answer, especially when compared against the circus chicanery you’ll find all over social media. Modify the fundamentals to your needs instead of throwing out the whole program.
None of these exercises is “superior” to standard lunges, Bulgarian squats, or single leg RDLs, they’re just refined tools that may be the perfect fit for your goals and challenges. Having more tools makes you a better coach or a more versatile athlete. We want to give the gift of athleticism for life to more people.
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