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Reshaping Childhood Adversity into a Fitness Legacy: Dominic’s Journey | Dominic Gerleve

Today’s Guest Dominic Gerleve

Dominic Gerleve's passion for health and fitness, ignited by his father's heart attack, fueled his rise as a leader in the industry. Co-founding Vision Captured with Maggie Gerleve, they utilize their combined expertise to make fitness accessible for all. Their collaboration has driven outstanding growth in client and employee retention, revenue, and profit margins, establishing Vision Captured as a fitness industry trailblazer.

  • Dominic relates his childhood to Tony Robbins who had a similar childhood to him and was able to overcome adversity, which inspired him to use his challenges as a reason to do better in life. He believes that going through difficult times makes you stronger and helps you realize that failures are temporary and just moments in time.
  • Dominic's resilience and attitude towards overcoming obstacles fueled his passion for fitness, which was further driven by his father's heart attack, making him aware of the importance of health and fitness.
  • He believes that getting people to commit to themselves and overcome doubt and inertia is the key to starting their health journey. He suggests asking them why they want to make a change and getting them to connect their health with their personal values and goals, such as spending time with their family, which can be a powerful motivator.
  • Dominic's journey in the fitness industry started at 17 when he worked for a third-party personal training company, and he eventually became a co-owner of a company at age 21. However, things didn't go well for him in this business, leading to a five-year journey of rebuilding his confidence and gaining valuable lessons from his failures.
  • His current company, Vision Captured, provides third party personal training and is transitioning to an in-home training service. He plans to eventually open up gyms in smaller towns to change the culture and make them more health conscious.
  • Dominic recharges his batteries by doing exercise, going to church, and occasionally doing extreme activities. He incorporates a of exercise such as yoga, weight training, and cardio, and uses his workout time to listen to educational material like audiobooks. This combination of physical and mental exercise helps him start his day and feel empowered.
  • He plans on expanding his gym business by taking on more clients and investing in commercial real estate, while also focusing on developing trainers with a diverse range of knowledge and experience.

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Dominic: I was making all this money. I was young, I was too young to make all that money, honestly. Uh, but yeah, I was making all this money, I was doing really well, and I thought I was, you know, I thought I was untouchable. and that arrogance, I, I look at it almost, truly, I look at it as a blessing now. that failure was something that humbled me enough to realize I didn't know. Um, and it was. To this day, I still look back at it. I, can still take lessons from it, and apply 'em today.

Matt: Welcome to Push To Be More with Me your host, Matt Edmundson. Now this is a show that talks about the stuff that makes life work and to help us do just that. Today I am chatting with Dominic Gerleve from Vision captured about where he has had to push through what he does to recharge his batteries and well, what does more mean for Dominic?

We're gonna get into all of that. And of course, the show notes and transcript, uh, from our conversation will be available on our website, which is And whilst you're there, make sure you sign up for our newsletter and each week we will email you the notes and the links from the show Automagically.

They just go straight to your inbox, totally free. It's all amazing. So make sure you do that now. This episode is brought to you by Aurion Media, which helps entrepreneurs and business leaders set up and run their own successful podcast. You know what I have found hosting my own podcast to be incredibly

rewarding and, well, let's put it this way, an insane marketing growth hack tool. I don't, maybe that's what I should call it. I dunno. Uh, it opens doors to amazing people like nothing else I've seen. I've built networks, made friends, had a platform to champion my customers, my team, my suppliers, and I think just about any entrepreneur or business leader.

Should have a podcast because it's had such a huge impact on my own business, which of course sounds great in theory. But in reality there's the whole problem of setup, distribution, tech strategy. There's a lot of unknown questions, isn't there? Uh, the bottom line is I just really enjoy talking to people.

I love doing these interview style podcasts. Not a big fan of all that other stuff, all that production and all that sort of. I just, I just, I don't enjoy it. I'm not gonna lie. So the team at Aurion Media takes it all off my plate. I do what I'm good at, and they brilliantly take care of the rest. So if you are wondering whether podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them at

That's a u r i o n We will of course, link to them on the podcast website as well. Now that's the show sponsor. Let's talk about today's guest. So Dominic, uh, Dominic Gerleve's passion for health and fitness was ignited by his father's heart attack, and that fueled his rise as a leader in the industry.

Co-founding vision captured with his wife Maggie Gerleve. They utilized their combined expertise to make fitness accessible for all. They're collaborate, they're put my teeth back in. Their collaboration has driven outstanding growth in client and employee retention, revenue and profit margins.

Establishing vision captured as a fitness industry trailblazer, which is not an easy thing to do in an industry that is insanely competitive. I have no doubt. So Dominic, you're gonna have to tell us your secret sauce, man. But uh, before we get into that, welcome to the show. Great to have you. Thanks for joining me.

Dominic: Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I, I super appreciate it. It's, uh, it, this is, Uh, a first time for me, so it's cool.

Matt: I know. It's cool, man. It's gonna, I'm looking forward to this conversation. I always enjoy talking to people about fitness mainly because of I have questions.

Dominic: Well, hopefully I've got some answers.

Matt: Yeah. Well, hopefully. Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. So the way we're gonna start out the show, Dominic, is I, I like to just ask a sort of an icebreaker question. Um, And the question that I've been asking folks, cuz I just find the answers really fascinating, is this right? Let's just tie it into our show sponsor Aurion Media.

They help folks like your good self set up and run their own podcast. So if you did have your own podcast and you could interview anybody, uh, on your podcast, someone from the past or someone from the present, but someone that's had a big influence on your life, who would you interview and why?

Dominic: Um, gosh, someone who's had a big influence on my life. Um, You know, I, I, I, I feel kind of, uh, uh, cheesy and old saying this, um, somebody who had a really big impact in my life was, uh, Tony Robbins.

Matt: Okay.

Dominic: this is a weird thing, but he had a, uh, a very similar story to me growing up. Um, and so when I heard his story and then just the fact that he was, I, I think he was like 10 or.

Maybe 20 years older than me. Um, but he's like 20 years older than me. And I'm like, man, this guy was able to, you know, get through all that. And then, you know, he's made a living from just talking, right? Like, he just talks to people, um, you know, that like, if he can do it, I can do it, right? Like, and so that was kinda my, uh, that was, that was kind of, that was where my, uh, my thought process came from, was, and then I listened to his work and all that kind of stuff, and it was, uh, gave me a good frame for the world.

Matt: Uh, so it's an interesting statement, Tony Robbins, because obviously I, I say obviously most people in the world will know who he is and will have heard something that he has done. But the, the what's what's driving my curiosity at the moment is you said you share similar stories. In what ways are your stories similar?

Dominic: Um, if you listen to his beginning work, he had a, a rather challenged upbringing as a child. So he lived in this, uh, kind of abusive family, if you will. Um, and that was like the first for him, that was like the first 17 years of his life. Um, and for me it was more like the first six years of my life where I had this, you know, incredibly, you know, challenging, um, like family, uh, where.

You know, the, the bar of soap and getting your mouth washed out with a bar of soap, that was, that was a normal, and like you were, you, you were like, that's fine. I'd rather have the bar of soap than what could come. You know? And so when he's talking about all this stuff, I'm like, man, you know, like there's a, there's somebody who faced the same adversity as me. And rather than using it as an excuse, he used it as a reason to do better.

Matt: That's really powerful, isn't it? And so have you, have you tried have, I guess maybe. The right question to ask you here is how have you utilized that then, in your own life? How have you utilized, how has, how has, how have you turned this around to your advantage?

Dominic: Um, I think when you go through some crazy stuff, right, like, and you have like a challenging out out outcome or a circumstance that you're in. And you realize like one, you can get through almost anything, right? Like so, you know, go in without food for a little while, that's nothing. Um, you know, whatever lashes you're gonna take, whether, it's physically or metaphorically, that those are all temporary.

And so you start having this idea, like, you're like, well, this is a moment, right? And so if you fail right, it, it didn't hurt any more than anything that could have happened to you when you were a kid. I don't, I don't know if that makes sense. There's, there's this different, yeah. Contrast.

Matt: Hmm.

Dominic: I

Matt: It's a really interesting way to look at it, isn't it? And I, I, I mean, my, my story, my background story is very different to what you are sharing. I think I grew up in a very different, um, environment. Um, and so I can't. I can't honestly relate. Uh, I, I can relate in the sense of I've heard stories and talked to a lot of people, but personally it's, it's a different, um, upbringing.

What I can relate to though, is the fact that there was a different type of adversity maybe when we were growing up, and this attitude, which says, um, This is a moment, I use a word season. I love this word moment that you use. This is a moment that this too shall pass this too, and we can get through this.

Um, and actually if we're smart about this, not only can we get through it, we can emerge out out of it slightly stronger. Um, that attitude, that resilience, I, I think is one of those things. That, um, you just, you, you, you can't learn at school. Right? It's, it's one of those things that is sort of almost born out of life experience.

I don't know if you found that.

Dominic: Yeah. No, no, no. It, it, it definitely is because it's, I it's like Marcus Aurelius's quote, right? Like the, the impediment to action, um, becomes like the path, right? I can't, I'm, I'm, I'm gonna, me, I'm gonna mess up his quote. The impediment action becomes, um, yeah, I'd have to look it up. But anyways, but that quote from Marcus Aurelius to me is really, truly, Something where you're like, yeah, it's just an obstacle.

It's in my way. I've gotta figure out a way to get around it now. Right? Like, that's what life threw at me. So now it's my job to navigate that situation and make it better.

Matt: Yeah. Yeah. So is that, is that, is that attitude then, or that that system of belief, um, Is that what fueled you into the fitness industry? Because it sounds, it sounds like that attitude is almost a great place to start to become like a PT. Do you know what I mean? It's that kind of, uh, it's that, it is that kind of way of thinking, which I think you, you, you see well in sports athletes.

Um, so was, was, was sport, was fitness a natural sort of progression for you?

Dominic: Yeah, it was, I mean, I feel like it kind of was, I had these two older brothers that were stepbrothers, um, that were part of my, my dad's like, when my dad married my stepmom, these two came into our life when I, anyways, but without getting into the details of that, but I had these two older brothers, and they're amazing people.

Just generally, they've really, really super accomplished. One was like a nuclear engineer, um, you know, the other one. Yeah. He's, you know, he played, uh, Uh, volleyball, like JV volleyball. Uh, so he was on the Junior Olympics team for volleyball. So just to give you an idea of like the caliber of athlete and intelligence that these two had.

So I had these two older brothers who were just awesome by any measurable account. And so I was just, I had these two people that I wanted to be like, and I was a runt, right? Like, so I'm, I'm 12, one of 'em, 16, the other one's, you know, 14. And, you know, I'd see 'em in there doing pushups and stuff. And so I wanted to, you know, be like them.

Um, so I started doing pushups when I was 12. And um, so I just got a, I think I just got a jump on it and then about the time that I started getting into the pushups and sit-ups and all that, um, shortly thereafter, that's when my dad finally had his heart attack. I shouldn't say finally, but, um, that's when he had his heart attack and then it became understanding like, Hey, how can health affect, you know, making sure that this type of stuff doesn't happen?

Um, And then that was cuz I mean, it was, it was pretty gnarly. I can still remember I was writing a paper about Leonardo DaVinci and I hear my stepmom like, scream up the stairs, you know, call 911. And I'm like, what are you talking about? She's like, your dad's having a heart attack. No he is not. Right.

And then so she's like, no, I'm serious. And so I run call 911. Right? And then we're waiting there to what feels like hours, right? It was probably 20 minutes. Um, you know, ambulance shows up. My old man's still trying to like drive to the freaking, um, hospital. Cause he is just, you know, he is a stubborn, old Italian guy.

What do you expect? But, So the guy, you know, he's trying to drive and, you know, seeing him get carted off and then just the neighbors are worried. Everyone's hugging me. Like, I'm like, what is going on? Right? But that, um, feeling of like unknown, right? Like, you don't know what's gonna happen. Cause that was, that was my, my actual biological parent at that moment.

And the other biological parent wasn't fit might be a way of saying that to like be a parent at that moment. Um, and so it was like, dude, if this doesn't go well, like Cindy could bail on me. Um, so that was like one of those moments in life where you're like, well, I guess whatever happens, happens, you know, like, couldn't be worse than what was, what was before.

Um, and if it is, you know,

Matt: Mm, wow. So, I, I, what was, what was the outcome for your father?

Dominic: So my dad, my dad is alive. He's still alive to this day. So what ended up happening, he had a, a real big blockage. Um, they were able to remove the blockage. He was on medication for a long time, and then he got pretty serious about losing weight. So he went from, I mean, I want to say that he was close to 250 and five nine.

Right. Um, down to, I mean, I've seen him as low as 175, but I mean, he floats closer to like 180, 190 now. Um, so he is a, he is a healthy weight for his height and age and all of that now.

Matt: And so he is healthy wise. Um, is he, is he sort of, he's got these sort of three sons then, uh, you know, who, who all seem pretty well accomplished and, and fairly fit and reasonable. Is he, is he, has he sort of taken that on board? Has he become fit himself?

Dominic: No, you know, that was, uh, I think that's one of the great tragedies of, uh, my career was that I was never able to get my, uh, my stepmom, my, my mother or my father to be able to, uh, exercise like on a regular, any type of regular like type of thing. And those were the people I truly wanted to convince to be able to.

To get into it. And so that was kind of what, and, and this is a weird segue, but that was kind of what led me into the sales avenue of what we do, which is what led me to be able to have a company, um, in this field was just that being able to convince people that their health is worth it. Like, Hey, you are worth making this change.

And the little bit of pain that you're gonna go through throughout this process is it's gonna be worth it and you're gonna start to love it and look forward to it. And that was the hard, that's one of the harder things to get people to, um, really buy into cause they're just so adverse to that little bit of discomfort.

Matt: Yeah. And is that still the, is that still the case today that people still struggle to buy into that with all the knowledge that we have?

Dominic: Um, not as much. Uh, a lot of people it's, it's, now it's the doubt. Um, that's what, like when I'm, when I'm. When I'm selling somebody, like if I'm sitting down with Mrs. Jones, right, just an everyday average person, um, what I get is a lot of doubt from that individual where they're worried, am I gonna be able to stick to the food?

Am I gonna be able to actually come to the gym? It's those types of things, it's that level of accountability and getting them to commit to themselves that seems to be the bigger issue nowadays.

Matt: That's really interesting is, is that doubt. And, and you also mentioned the word accountability, which is where I guess you guys do well as a company, right? You, you provide that, that accountability, is that right? Is that the right word? Yeah, yeah, yeah. You provide that, the accountability to people. Um, But I'm kind of curious, right?

Because a lot of entrepreneurs, business leaders, et cetera, listen to the show. Um, and I, I guess my own journey in the world of business tells me that maybe 5% of this niche I would classify as healthy. Uh, you know, the other 95% I think want to be healthy, but are too busy, um, doing other things to work on their health.

How do you. How do you overcome that doubt, or how do you overcome that inertia to start, do you think?

Dominic: Um, like how do I get people to do it or how do I

Matt: yeah, yeah. No, no. How do you get people to do it? Because I'm, I'm just thinking of the listeners to the show, and some of them will be going, I really need to work on my health, and it's kind of like, what's the conversation you have that's gonna help them maybe kickstart their own health journey? I'm curious.

Dominic: So I, what I would always tell people, and this is what I always tell people I'm I'm coaching in, uh, in sales, is that it's not anything that you're ever gonna say. It's nothing you're gonna say to Mrs. Jones that's going to get her to change. It's what she's going to say, right? It's what he is going to say.

Um, And so this will sound like a silly question, but it's the simplest question. Why do you wanna make this change? That is, that's one of the biggest questions after I get them to detail what it is that they want out of working out and getting in shape. Right? Like, you want to go from 220 down to one, you know, 150, 160, whatever the number is.

Um, you want your body fat from 30% down to 18%, right? Depending on guy girl, right? Once they, they kind of paint this picture for me. The next question is why? Um, and I'll be honest with you, most of the people, you get a lot of fluff. I wanna feel better. I wanna look better. I want to do this right? Okay.

Those are all great reasons. Why do you want to feel better? Right? Like, and, and how do you mean that you want to feel better, right? And so when Mrs. Jones is sitting there and she's talking to me about the, the why behind it, she's like, well, I, you know, when I get home, I'm tired. And I don't have energy to play with my kids.

Matt: Right.

Dominic: And you're like, okay, so you wanna be able to be, you know, to sp spend time with your children and, and what's, what's the activity that always comes up? Right. And they'll be able to go to a time where they severely disappointed their child. Right. And it might be like that they were playing soccer, right?

And then their kid, you know, she just got tired and wanted to sit down. And then the kids, mommy, mommy, play, play, play. Um, and that will be the thing, like, they realize like, wow, if I don't take care of my health, I'm not taking care of my family. And then that connection, once you, once you walk onto that connection, um, it, it really, I mean, everything else is, it, it sells itself from there because that person, that driving force for them as an individual, all of a sudden they, it takes over and they're like, you know what?

I can do this.

Matt: Yeah. That's incredible, isn't it? And it's, I like the simplicity of that question. Why? And, and, and actually it's true in business. It's true in fitness. It's true in most things, isn't it? You have to, you have to drill down. I love that word you used Dominic. . Fluff, you'd have to sort of drill down, don't you sort of pass the fluff into the real reasons as to why you are gonna go through this season of uncomfortableness, whatever it is, doing something a little bit different, um, to try and achieve something which is gonna shape your life.

You've, you've gotta have that captivated vision and why, um, if you want to be successful. One of the things that I wanted to ask you about, actually, I was really intrigued by this cuz I spent a little bit of time managing some health clubs for a few years. Managing may be a loose sense of the word.

Maybe overseeing would probably be a slightly better phrase. Um, one of the things that I noticed was that every January people would come into the health clubs and they would say, oh, I wanna join the health club. And you'd go, well, why do you wanna join the health club? And nine times outta 10, um, The, the women who came in would join the health club to lose weight and the guys would join the health club to lose weight, but to bulk up at the same time.

Right. So I wanna, I wanna get a bit more ripped and I want to lose weight. Okay. And it got to the stage where I noticed that there was a trend that whenever people gave that as an excuse for joining their health club, um, three months later, the women who joined to lose weight, most of them would be heavier than what they were when they first

joined, uh, and it was this really interesting phenomenon that we saw and I, I started to drill down a little bit. Uh, I'm not gonna lie, I started to ask lots of questions cause I wanted to understand what was going on. And so, um, one of the things, uh, was, uh, that came up was treat mentality. The, I've just done half an hour on the treadmill so I can now have this.

Um, very calorific, uh, piece of food because I've earned it, uh, which always tickled me. Um, but the main cause I thought was, and I'd love your opinion on this, the main cause was that people didn't focus on health. They focused on losing weight and actually they didn't address the issues that caused them to be overweight in the first place.

Um, and so, The, you know, they started to feel hungrier. Their habits were bad, so they just did more of what they knew, except for now they were doing treadmills. And so somehow in the midst of all of this, they, they sort of got heavier. Was that a peculiar phenomenon? Um, uh and or is this something that you also see?

Dominic: Oh, no, no, no. That, that's, yeah. That, that's still alive and well in the fitness industry. Um, so.

Matt: Yeah, as long as it's not just me being crazy.

Dominic: Right? No, no, no. Yeah. Live and well, um, we, we call it the January rush, right? Um, I, I mean, I could tell you mathematically, a, a health club typically does 40 to 60% of its business, in the first, like three months of the year. Um, and of those people that 90 day drop off that you're talking about, um, I bet you if you were to look at it, if you were able to truly analyze those numbers, you would notice that those people dropped off within the first 27 days of, joining.

Um, and so it would just be this like massive drop off of people just quitting. And, and you're right though. It's, it's, it's about lifestyle. It's about, um, finding like one of the things that we do to help people to, create that belief within themselves that they can, because they can, right? Like it's not, it's not like I'm trying to sell 'em some kind of dream.

Right. Um, Is rather than trying to shift their entire life, cuz that's what everyone wants to do. They want to do this massive shift from, you know, I've been unhealthy for 40 years of my life, or I've lived an unhealthy life for 40 years and now I wanna do this tomorrow. Um, and that's just not, that's not the way it works, right?

Like, it wasn't how it worked for me. Right. And I started, I started doing pushups and lunges and squats and stuff in my room when I was 12. Um, I didn't start eating healthy until I was in my twenties, just to give some contrast there, right? Like, um, but the, uh, What ended up hap what ends up happening is it, like, part of our process is to coach them through how that's gonna work.

And so it's, Hey, can you start keeping a food journal for us? And just writing down what you eat throughout the Yeah, I can do that. Okay, perfect. And hey, would you be open, open to changing one thing a week about the way that you're eating? Yeah, I, I, I would totally do that. Okay, well, great. Like, we'll start with breakfast and we'll work our way down, right?

Or we'll start with, uh, dinner and we'll work our way up. And they're like, okay, okay. Yeah, I can do it. And so it's, it's creating the change like where they're the frog in the boiling water, right? Rather than just trying to just be radical about it. Just ease 'em into that process. And, and I say love 'em throughout it.

That's what I always tell everybody is just love 'em throughout it. And just let them know like, Hey, you're gonna mess up. It just is what it is. This is new.

Matt: Yeah. No, that's, that's really cool. That's, that's, that's awesome. So just explain, um, uh, to me, Dominic, you, you, your, sort of, your journey from. From doing pushups to 12. Your dad has, how old, how old were you when your dad had this heart attack.

Dominic: I was 12 when he had it. He was 42.

Matt: Okay. So, oh, wow. Okay. So, uh, that's, that's young. Uh, so he has this heart attack when he is 42. You are 12 years old, and here you are now you've got this sort of, what's, what was that journey, um, for you, just in a nutshell?

Dominic: Um, it started on accident. Uh, so I,

Matt: good journeys do, to be fair.

Dominic: So I had this, uh, teacher and man, I hope he's watching. Um, there's no way maybe Mr. His name was Mr. Mattie and he was a math teacher. He, uh, taught algebra and so he sent us to do a book report or a, a report or it was a written report in our math class, which is weird. Um, and was like, how does math intersect with what you want to do?

At least over the next three years, right? Like whatever you're gonna do when you're in college. Okay. Um, so I thought, hey, I'll be a personal trainer while I'm in college and, you know, go off to be a doctor, um, or a lawyer, right? Those, those were my two careers and I was more towards the doctor cuz I, I love biology and all that and I just, honestly, I, I'm not super good at chemistry.

So, but the, uh, so I had to go and do these interviews and while I was doing these interviews with these personal trainers and gym managers and trying to figure out how numbers mattered to these people, um, One of the people who was a a, a higher up within the district was like, Hey, do you wanna do, you wanna do this?

Right? Like this is what you are stepping into. And I was like, yeah. And he is like, let me get you a job interview. Um, and I couldn't tell you the guy's name, but he got me a job interview with my very first boss, Matt Yellen. And. I, I started, I was 17. And, and, um, I would say that they indoctrinated me into the fitness industry.

That's, that's the joke that we always say.

Matt: Wow,

Dominic: I was able to,

Matt: teacher's name was, sorry, Mattie, Mr. Mattie.

Dominic: um, yeah, Mr. Mattie was his, uh, with that I, that, that's his first name, but I don't know what his last name was. But yeah, Mr. Mattie, he looked like the lead singer from, uh, Nickelback.

Matt: Okay, well I've got a really clear picture in my head on on, on this guy now, but it's just intriguing me that, I mean, in England, I dunno what it was like when you were grown up, but if you had a math teacher called Mr. Mattie, that would've caused much hilarity, uh, there would've been room for many jokes.

Uh, and then ironically, the first boss you have is also called Matt. Um, so I'm, I'm spotting the theme. I'm spotting the trend. Dominic. So you, you get sort of engrossed in the, the fitness industry. At what point do you set up your own business? Was it from day one as a PT? Were you sort of self-employed or was it a bit more nuanced than that?

Dominic: No, it was, it was more nuanced. So I, uh, I started when I was 17. Um, I work for what's called a third party personal training company. And so a third party, they basically subcontract with, uh, gyms. And so they take over their personal training department, um, and they effectively pay the gym rent, and then, um, And the gym just lets 'em operate and they have this agreement, right?

We give you our new members, you guys make sure you don't treat 'em like crap, right? And keep paying us money. Um, so that's the deal, right? Um, so I worked for this company and that was where I learned how to do sales. Um, so I had to get my own clients and all that. And so I sat in with my manager who happened to be really great at sales.

Um, and so Mike sitting there, he is doing his process. And eventually I saw it so often that I started to memorize it. Um, and so I had it memorized in, I don't know, a week or two, and I started taking my own appointments. Um, and I didn't sell them as regularly as, as he did, but then, you know, eventually I got better and better and better and, you know, did more and more study and, um, that was how it went.

But I, I didn't start my own company. I was 21 when I joined forces to be an owner of a company. Um, and that was with this guy who I actually work with, uh, named Nick Rosco. So he had left, uh, the company that we work for, um, together, and then he, uh, started a company called Life, uh, life Wellness Consulting.

And, um, he and I worked together, uh, him, Mike, and this other guy, TJ. Um, and we expanded it. And I was, I was the guy who was doing like the sales training, um, teaching managers how to sell and then, um, Helping refine the recruiting process for trainers. And then Nick was just this, this brain of a person where he could, his understanding of exercise is just far beyond anybody's.

So the way that he could coach these trainers better, I. I still, I mean, to this day, I'm not, I, I'm not him, you know what I mean? Like, he, he's, that's how good he's, I, I, I've only met one other person who's better than him, and it's this guy who lives out in Virginia named Chris. Um, but yeah, it just outrageous.

Anyways, but that was kind of like how we, uh, melded together. Um, and then TJ and Mike allowed me and Nick to stay away from the business stuff. I'm not, um, There's a certain point within a contractual negotiation where I lose my patience and I'm like, look, dude, like it's in paper, it's in writing. It is what it is.

Like we're, we're not doing anything different, right? Like, cuz everyone always wants to get the angle on you, and it's like, I'm trying to make this as fair as possible. Um, so that, that, that, um, that layers, those layers that were put up was a, a kind of a perfect setup for me. Um, in the very beginning that ended up, uh, being a disaster.

But that's okay.

Matt: Why did it end up in disaster?

Dominic: Um, I didn't have good paperwork in place. Uh, so when push came to shove, there was, uh, like money got tight, we lost some locations. Um, and then I was, uh, I was effectively forced out of the business. Um, due to, I mean, the business' survival, i I in, in fairness to the, my partners, um, due to their survival.

But at the end of the day, um, it was, it was still upsetting. Um, and it set me back for a good, a good deal of time. Um, and then I ended up actually, but it, it led me on kind of the journey that I'm on today now. Um, but it was just a five year track of. Really getting my confidence back, um, as an individual.

Cause I just, I had, I was making all this money. I was young, I was too young to make all that money, honestly. Uh, but yeah, I was making all this money, I was doing really well, and I thought I was, you know, I thought I was untouchable. and that arrogance, I, I look at it almo, truly, I look at it as a blessing now.

that failure was something that humbled me enough to realize I didn't know. Um, and it was. To this day, I still look back at it. I, can still take lessons from it,

Matt: yeah.

Dominic: and apply 'em today.

Matt: Well, and that's actually, I mean, that's the, the, the sign of a good, a good leader I think is they can look at the failures and learn from it. Um, and, you know, move and adapt. And I, and you can, you can either spend your whole life wishing it didn't happen, or you can spend the rest of your life going, I'm gonna learn from that and make sure that I don't do that again, you know, and, and turn this into a positive outcome.

Uh, so I, it sounds great, you know? So what's the company that you've got now? Um, vision, vision captured. What does that do?

Dominic: So we also do third party personal training. Um, I, I, we're going to, we're, we're in the process of switching though to being more of a, uh, uh, I guess a, an in-home training service at this point for the, for the time being as we get through this next, uh, Economic cycle. Um, so as we're doing that, so we're, we're concentrated.

We live, like the area that we live in is a, is a great area. And, uh, so we'll provide in-home training for, you know, I mean, whomever, whoever you know, is able to, to burden that. Um, and then, uh, from there though, what I'm looking for is I'm kind of laying low. I, I want to g actually start to open up gyms, um, in smaller towns, almost like, uh, Walmart, if you, if you remember, um, I'm trying to remember the CEO's, the original CEO's name, but the founder of Walmart,

Matt: Sam, what's his? Uh, yeah, I know who you mean.

Dominic: Sam Walton. Thank you

Matt: yeah, Sam Walton. There you go.

Dominic: Um, but yeah, he, uh, but yeah, just going into small towns and, um, and, and servicing those people and, and being able to bring in, um, some stud trainers in there and, and, uh, Hopefully change the, the culture within that town and make it more of a health conscious town. Cause I think in a smaller town, you're able to contribute more in the sense of how much you give.

So if you give something to every single school, you might only give out, you know, four or $5,000. But the impact is you've affected everybody in that town.

Matt: Yeah.

Dominic: So it's, it's, it's, it's a different thing. So like now everyone knows you and it's like, well, hey, it's cool to go to the gym. And then so you're able to, uh, change the culture within that like little baby area.

Um, and then that should bleed through. That's my theory.

Matt: Ah, this is fascinating. And have you found then that, um, I mean I know with Covid a lot of gyms closed here in the uk and I know it's true in the states as well, you know, a lot of gyms closed down. Um, is there. Is the demand for gyms now starting to grow again, uh, in the states? And is, is that why you're sort of thinking of opening gyms in small town?

Do you see the market is sort of returning back to that?

Dominic: Um, yeah, I felt like. I mean, I felt like gyms popped off back here in the States at least. Um, right when the Covid, um, uh, restrictions were dropped, uh, people were, were anxious to get back into the gym. They wanted to work out. Um, You had a lot of people who were unmasked, um, in the states that you could, you know, like where it wasn't like you were going to get a bunch of flack for it.

Um, and so you had a lot of people who were unmasked, uh, like when I was in North Carolina, um, would be an example of that. And, uh, you know, they were just eager, they want, they wanted to be fit. They wanted that interaction with another person. Um, and they were excited to be there. So it, it was, it was kind of honestly like that that comeback was kind of a glorious time.

Like you were like, wow, this is, this is beautiful that so many people want to be back in here and being healthy. Right? Because it was taken away from 'em. And now they're like, I want this right. And they're hugging. For me as, as an exercise trainer that gets me, that gets me juiced.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. I, I mean, I, I love gym culture and it's, it's one of those where, um, a few years, a few years ago, I actually talked to a few people about whether or not I opened a gym. It's totally diverse to what I do now. I. Um, but just because I, I love the community of the gym, um, and just the camaraderie of it, which I think is quite nice, if you can capture that, right.

If you can get people to take out their headphones and talk to one another and work out together, it sort of, it ends up usually being a bit better. Um, so, but I, I What do you do, uh, Dominic, what's your strategy for sort of recharging your batteries? I mean, you've got this company which helps obviously thousands of others.

Um, but, but what about you? What do you do?

Dominic: Um, I, I, you know, exercise is still very th uh, therapeutic for me as an individual. So that's part of like my daily thing. So some form of exercise. Um, And then I, yeah, I, I, I go to church. Um, so going to church, you know, you're, I, I don't, I don't know if you go to church, but if, you know, when you're at church, you know you're singing and I happen to go to a good church here in, in Fair Hope, so, you know, they're singing it, you know, there's a lot of good energy there.

Um, and then pastor, there's great. And so he, you know, he's always got a good message. Um, it's never super divisive and so it's just, it refreshes your cup. And I also do some extreme stuff though. Um, if I'm feeling uber low right, and nothing's working, sometimes I'll go and do something like kind of dangerous.

I'll, I'll, you know, I'll, I'll, uh, skydive or I'll bungee jump or, you know,

Matt: Okay. Okay. Yeah. Uh, that is a little bit extreme, a little bit too extreme for me. Dominic, I'm not gonna lie. Maybe not my son. Actually. He's, um, he's, he's my son's 18. He's into his fitness. Maybe it's, I mean, he's more into his fitness than I am. Um, in fact, I tell you a story, my, I I might have told this before on the podcast, but, um, my son, Zach, uh, he's recently left to go to college and, um, He during lockdown, we have a gym at the house.

One of the best investments I ever made was I built this sort of gym in our garage. And so he was in there like literally every day. The man is ripped and strong and so, um, me being his dad was a mixture of both. Proud because Good on you son. But also I might be slightly competitive, so I'm like, I can't let him beat me.

This is just wrong on so many levels. And so I'm in the gym and I'm. My, my, my bench press was not particularly good and Zach was lifting, what was he lifting? 120, 130 kgs on his bench. And I'm like, I was like 90 And so. Uh, I was in there and I, I was building it. And finally, um, Dominic, uh, my proud moment, I've just turned 50 years old, but I've just lifted my heaviest bench press ever.

I did 105 kgs the other day. So small victory for this old man. And, um, I sent, I sent the, I sent a text message to Zach saying, um, I've just, I've just lifted this weight. And he sent me a message back saying, oh, well done dad, for lifting the weights that I warm up with.

Dominic: Thank you, son.

Matt: yeah. I was like, thanks for that. But he, um, he's, he's now wanting over summer to go get his skydiving license to become a skydiving instructor and all that sort of stuff. He feels alive jumping outta planes, which is great, you know, and, and so I get what you put in there. I love church. I love the energy of church.

Uh, I, I, I try not to destroy that energy by singing too loudly myself. You know, it's, uh, sorry.

Dominic: I said, I'm with you on this. I, I was, my, my wife's uh, father was a, uh, music minister and he didn't believe in tone deafness. And then when he met me he was you might be the one person who's actually tone deaf.

Matt: yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You are the one person that is never gonna be able to sing well. Uh, and it, it, the angels weep when you sing and not for the right reasons. Right. So that's, that's always been the joke in our house, uh, when, uh, when I sing. So, yeah. So yeah. I mean, when you say you exercise daily, what, um, What sort of things do you do?

Because again, exercise is such a wide berth, isn't it? If people listening to the show think, oh, that means I've gotta go on a treadmill for half an hour a day, and that does, that does not fill me with joy. And, um, personally, I hate running. So, um, what kind of things, uh, seem to work for you as, as an exercise?

Dominic: Um, so my, yeah, so that, that's a really broad word. I agree with you. Um, but today, for example, I did yoga. Uh, so I did an hour of yoga. Um, I, you know, and, and that helps me get started for the day, right? Like if, if, but I don't necessarily wanna lift weights every single day of the week and do cardio every single day of the week.

So having that yoga session, um, in between and intermittently, um, that helps. And then weight training. Um, I, I probably do weight training three to four days a week, and then, uh, on the yoga days, more often than not, I, I do, uh, instead of walking on the treadmill, I do a rower. Um, and that's a pretty common thing.

Or I'll do the StairMaster. Um, but a lot of it's finding ways, um, to use, I think a lot of people, cuz they're so pressed for time, um, they have such an issue spending 30 minutes going and working out or even an hour, whatever the number is. Right? And so I use, and this is something I, I took from Tony, um, NET time.

Um, so no extra time is what he, what, what he calls it. But I'll listen to something educational during that time. Um, so this year I had this goal that I wanted to, I wanted to read or, or take in the entire Bible, right? So I, I threw my headphones in, in every single workout. I was listening to the Bible, and while I was done with that, and I think it was, they took me, it's a 96 hour book.

Um, and I think it took me like three months, um, to finish. So like, but I was able, you know, I powered through it and then, not in a bad way, but just, you know, I was able just to get through it and was like, wow, taking in all this information. But I do that with anything. I mean, I'll do it with, um, when I was teaching sales a lot, um, and the information or I wanted to refresh in it.

Um, I'd listen to, you know, how to win friends and influence people, or the obstacle is the way, um, you know, books like that. And so,

Matt: Yeah. Yeah.

Dominic: It, it wasn't just about working out in the physical sense, it was also the mental exercise that was going on there where I was, I'm, I'm listening to something that's gonna empower me and strengthen me for my day.

And so it truly is like a, a, a morning of getting going and. I don't have to use the music to, to get jacked up, you know, listening to like heavy rock or something like that. Um, I can just be focused in on my book and, and just start rocking and rolling, if that makes sense. But it makes the exercise that, that form of whatever I'm doing that much more meaningful to me.

Matt: that's a really powerful point. I think they call it habit stacking, don't they? Where you join two different habits together. So, um, if you're a big fan of watching a certain series on Netflix, well why not put that on whilst you are. On a bike or something like that, you know, the gym and it's, and you can stack these two things together.

So it's not, it's not all, all bad. And actually you start to then look forward to, to some of these things. Um, No, I'm a big fan of that. Like you, I, I tend to listen to stuff while I'm in the gym, uh, podcasts or series or do you know what I mean? Books, whatever it is. And we, we have those on in there and it's great. It's a great time to learn as well as, uh, great time to collapse on the floor in a big heap at the, uh, at the end of the sessions.

Um, what's, uh, what does more look like for you, Dominic? Where, where's, um, I mean, you've, you've talked a bit about building gyms in small towns, but what does more look like for you guys? Over the next few years.

Dominic: I think after I, I, like I said after this, I, and I'm a little confused on this economic cycle cause I would've thought of, would've already come by now with, um, With the yield curves inverted and everything that's going on there. Um, I would've assumed that here in the States we would've started to see a little bit of a drawdown, um, based on that.

Not to get too, um, into the weeds there, but, uh, so I, I mean, I, I hate saying this. I, I, I'm buying time. Um, and so, but still being able to serve in the way that I like to be able to serve, which is just being, and, and in this case I get, be a little bit more hands on cuz I'm actually gonna take on some clients, um, instead of just talking to

people, which is nice. Um, so anyways, but there's that. Uh, but after that, as those opportunities start to, um, pop up where the commercial real estate is a little bit more reasonable, um, and they're not asking like $30 a square foot for it, and, you know, an area that doesn't warrant that, um, I, uh, um, I, I'll make a move on it then.

And it's more just, I, I. It, to me, it's more of a business decision in the sense that that's a fixed cost and you can't get rid of that cost no matter what. So if I, if I sign a five year lease at, you know, $30 a square foot or $50 a square foot, um, and all of a sudden we have a little bit of downturn, I might have, you know, dialed in those numbers where it has to be that we're always, you know, performing at, you know, AA levels if you, you know, wanna call it.

So, um, so that's, I think that's where the growth looks like. And then, um, throughout that time, part of the reason I wanted to get more hands on with the clients was I wanted more of a streamlined process in developing trainers. Um, trainers aren't. A lot of the people that are coming through in, uh, for as personal trainers nowadays.

Aren't the guys that started working out when they were 12 and 15 years old and worked out for five, 10 years, um, and then all of a sudden got their cert. It's like someone who started working out a year ago got certified and then they do, but so they don't have, uh, the, their, their depth of knowledge, right?

It's just, it's just not there. Um, And so they only know one journey, right? And it's whatever their journey was. So if they went on a weight loss thing, well that's what they know. Um, and if they went on a bulking up thing, that's what they know. And so to be able to diversify that level of knowledge within that group of people, it's gonna take someone who had to go through that same journey, but then reassociate with what it's like to do the most basic form of this business, which is the people.

Matt: I like that the most basic form of this business is people, which is totally true. And, and gaining the trust of the people and helping them achieve their goals. Right. Um. What's your, I'm, I'm curious, uh, what's your favorite fitness app?

Dominic: Favorite fitness app? Um, yeah, I think because I started without any fitness apps, um, I, um, I don't use any, I, to be quite honest with you, I don't use any fitness apps whatsoever. Um, I track almost nothing. I'm not that biohacker

Matt: wear the, the, the bands, you don't put everything into your phone.

Dominic: Bunch of beads on, you know, I don't know even, I don't even know why.

Matt: Yeah. They don't kind of give you the feedback that you maybe would help, uh, would expect from an iPhone. That's really interesting though. I mean, is that, have you never been tempted by, you're just like, I just can't be bothered. Never needed it.

Dominic: Um, my wife wears that, like she has a Apple watch and she tracks all of her stuff and she's very, you know, meticulous with all that. And my whole thing is, is, um, I do all the work upfront. So like, when I eat, I know exactly how many calories I'm gonna get for that week when I work out, I know the exact caloric burn that's gonna happen.

So like I've, I've done all the math, um, beforehand and so I'm not, I, I'm, I love routine, me personally, right? Like, so routine makes me feel comfortable. I like to wake up at the same time. My, I, I play with my kid at five, right? Like, I, I have a routine and when you throw me out of that, I'm like, ugh. So like, for me to be regimented is, uh, It, it's, honestly, it's, it's, it makes my life easier.

So adding in another piece of like, tracking something I already know, I'm like, eh,

Matt: Yeah. Yeah.

Dominic: because it just, I see so many people stress about it. Like, I didn't, I didn't do my exercise ring today. And I'm like, so go do it. Right? Like, just go like, like, get up, go, go work out, right? You haven't worked out yet. Go work out.

Matt: Yep.

Dominic: You don't have to sit, sit here with me, right? Like I'm. So that's, um, do, do you have a favorite fitness app though? I feel, I feel like I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm, I mean, I have other buddies who are in the industry who use them, but I'm just not that guy I guess.

Matt: No, it's, I'm the same as you. I, I use, uh, I mean, I do use more apps than you Dominic, but it sounds like that's not, that's not tricky. I use, um, uh, an app called Wad Connect, which connects me to the gym here in Liverpool. Um, and so Matt, who's the head of the gym, puts the workouts on there so I can do 'em at home, which is great cause I don't have to think about them, which I, I really like.

Um, and I have an app, I'm just looking at it now called Calorie Counter. So I know that personally if I track the food that I eat, I always eat better than if I don't track it. It's a, you know, I, my brain I think switches off to half the things that I eat sometimes. And so if I'm really intentional about putting everything in there, I mean, not crazy.

You know, I'm not like weighing everything. I'm just like, that's a medium piece of chicken. That'll be about that. Um, my weight tends to do better and so they're the two that I use. Um, but I'm not fastidious about it. I have to be honest with you. I find a good old pen and paper works really well for me.

Dominic: Yeah. Here you'll laugh. I still have a, a legal pad sitting by my.

Matt: Old school indeed is, is old school sometimes the best school? Um, no. That's cool, man. Listen, it is time to the, the time of the show where we're gonna do the question box. The question box is, uh, where I pick out a card deck of questions. Uh, we're gonna flick through the card deck. You're gonna tell me when I'm gonna stop, and then we're just gonna ask whatever random question is on that card. Okay. So you have to tell me stop. Yeah. Yeah,

Dominic: Stop.

Matt: right there. Okay, cool. So that's a great question and I think Dominic, I kind of know the answer. If you, or maybe, uh, maybe, I dunno the answer. If you had to write a book, what would it be about?

Dominic: Um, I've had several ideas for books. Um, One of the ideas for a book I had, and this is the very first book that came to mind. Um, it was the very first book I ever thought about writing and I've tried to write it. Um, and I just don't know if I should should say some of the things, but I called it fraud fitness. Um, fraud. Um, Everyone will sit down with me and be like, you guys are just so healthy and, and perfect with your food and da, da da da da. And you guys live all these like very healthy lifestyles. And as someone who grew up in the fitness industry, um, I can tell you that those people, um, us people, um, we're not like that.

Like there, there's so many guys that are out, you know, partying, um, There's, you know, there's drugs within that scene. There's a lot of bad eating within that scene. And I'm not talking performance enhancing drugs. I'm talking about like, You know, detriment to your health type of drugs. Um, and people don't realize that these people are the people who you see and you're idolizing as these, you know, perfect specimens.

Um, and representations of health are very, very flawed people. Um, and I almost think that if they realize that, like it's really just this like constant, like them bumping themselves like, Hey, I gotta stop doing this right? Where your vice may be food and you can't put down the ice cream. You don't know that this guy, you know, goes home and drinks, you know, three vodkas and cranberries every night.

Right. Or, you know, has to do whatever he has to do to he or she has to do to be able to get in the right head space to go to sleep. Um, and so that was, I wanted to kind of shine a light on how human, the, the people that, that people are admiring, I guess, in, in almost too, too high of a level. Um, Give them some insight to that.

That was, that was, that was the very first book I ever wanted to write.

Matt: Wow. So fraud fitness, I think is, uh, it's a really interesting concept because you can take that to every, everything, can't you? I, I really struggle when people idolize, um, Certain celebrities and you think I, they're not a role model for my kids, you know? And, uh, we, we, we just need to stop naming airports after some people, you know?

And it's, uh, I, I'm, I'm with you on that. I think, I think there's some really interesting things to, to put in that, uh, into that book. So if you ever write it, let me know. I'll, I'll buy a copy because that, that just sounds really fascinating. Um, you know, you, it is a bit like. I suppose it's a bit like, you know, the beauty industry, every photograph that they show you of somebody using their cream has been photoshopped.

So it's not real, it's not authentic in some way, and it's producing a, a narrative that is unhealthy for our kids to try and attain. Or even for our adults, to be fair, you just, you can't attain it. You can't ever achieve it because it's not real. It's photoshopped. And so I think that idea of, of showing that that level of fraud.

Is actually quite healthy, uh, for a lot of people just to go, okay, this, what, what they're trying to portray over here is not real. It's, it's very Instagram, uh, but it's not real life. I'm okay.

Dominic: Right. I wish people understood. Um, Like when you're, when you're doing a photo shoot, right? Like for fitness, you, you dehydrate yourself, right? Like I'm, I'm dropping my water. Anytime I've ever done a shoot or something like that, I'm dropping my water and I'm dehydrated in the moment that I'm doing this shoot.

Right? Like when you see a, a bodybuilder step on stage, um, Any of them, right, any at any level, they are dehydrated when they're stepping on stage. And so even though they look perfect in that moment, they are the closest to death that they've been in their entire life. Right? Like,

Matt: It's such a It is true. It is so true. And it's such a fascinating way of thinking about it. Ah, Dominic, listen, just getting warmed up as always in my conversations and time is against us. So, uh, how do people reach you? How do they connect with you? How do they find out more about vision capture? If they want to know more about that, uh, what's the best way to do that?

Dominic: Um, Go to. Uh, so if, if, you know, if, if gym owners, you know, whether you're in the uk, wherever, you know, anywhere in Europe, anywhere in the United States, if you guys, you know, are looking to get more out of your personal training department, right? Go to and, um, uh, you know, you guys could check out the website, um, or just send me an email.

It's, it's And, uh, Just request some information and we can sit down, we can, we can talk about, you know, what's going on with your gym, um, you know, where, where's everything at, right. Where are your metrics at? And figure out where we're at there. And then, um, we can put together a plan.

And so whether that means it's, um, right now, I, I'd say I'm only taking on consulting clients. I, I do not wanna go in as a third party. Um, that always ends messy, I'll be honest with you. Um, so the, uh, I'd rather go in as a consultant, uh, start as a friend and end as a friend. Um, but anyways, but if they, uh, if they're interested in that, send me an email.

Um, we'll get together and we will chat it up about what's going on through gym, and then, um, if it, if it seems advantageous, then we can put our heads together and, and get to work on, uh, fixing some stuff there.

Matt: Fantastic.

Dominic: as far as people though looking for, you know, if they're looking for some help from some of our team members, same thing.

Send an email. Um, I don't mind actually handling a lot of the incoming stuff. Um, just cuz uh, our onboarding people are, are, are, tend to be pretty busy. I mean, they're, they're, they're busy onboarding. Um, so there's that. Um, so right now I'm picking up the extra slack as, as we're going along.

Matt: Mm-hmm. Fair enough, fair enough. Well there, reach out to Dominic. Well, of course, uh, put Dominic's info in the show notes, which you can get along for free, along with the transcript from today's conversation at Dominic, listen, thank you so much for joining us, man. Really enjoyed the conversation.

Great to meet you. Uh, great to get inspired about fitness and just go and do it. Work out and incredible story. And so yeah, thank you for all you're doing and trying to bring health to a whole bunch of people, and thanks for joining us today.

Dominic: Thanks for having me on. It was, it was great meeting you and, and getting to learn a little bit about you. Hopefully we'll be able to chat again.

Matt: Absolutely. Absolutely. So what a great conversation. Thanks again to Dominic for joining me today. Also, a big shout out to today's show sponsor Aurion Media. If you are wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them A u r i o n media dot com. And of course we will have a link to them, uh, on the website, uh, where all the show notes are, which for one last time is

Now be sure to follow push to be more wherever you get your podcast from because we've got yet more great conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them. And in case no one's told you yet today, you are awesome. Yes, you are created. Awesome. It's just a burden you have to bear. Dominic has to bear it. I have to bear it, and you've gotta bear it as well. It's just the way it is.

Push to Be More is produced by Aurion Media. You can find our entire archive of episodes on your favorite podcast app. The team that makes this show possible is Sadaf Beynon, Estella Robin and Tanya Hutsuliak. Our theme music was written by Josh Edmundson, and as I mentioned, if you would like to read the transcript or show notes, head over to the website,

So that's it from me. That's it from Dominic. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week wherever you are in the world. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.