Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Geoffrey Chiu, Performance Coach at GC Performance Training

May 30, 2019

Geoffrey Chiu is a Strength & Conditioning Coach and Owner of GC Performance Training based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Alongside coaching, Geoffrey is also a published writer on topics such as periodization, strength & conditioning, skill acquisition and nutrition.

Balance the Grind had the pleasure of speaking with Geoffrey about launching GC Performance Training, balancing his coaching with business responsibilities, the myth of work-life balance and plenty more.

This conversation is brought to you by Teachable, a powerful yet simple all-in-one platform to create and sell beautiful online courses.

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

I am a coach and small business owner based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I have been working in the personal training and strength & conditioning business for the last 6 years.

My journey for self-improvement started at a very young age, picking up martial arts at the age of 5.

However, health and nutrition did not come easy to me. My mother’s deteriorating health early on in my life, and my weak physical development later in the teenage years taught me to not take health for granted.

This became the catalyst for my growing passion in fitness and nutrition.

In my second year of university, I started my own personal training business, helping out friends, and whoever would give me a chance at helping them improve.

Starting my own business with close to no clientele base was a decision I made when I realized my philosophy on fitness and nutrition did not align with many of the mainstream commercial gym employers.

It also came at a time where employers did not see the same potential I saw in myself, which further motivated me to start my own business, develop my career the way I wanted to, and ultimately have complete control over all the content I put out.

Fast forwards a few years, with many speed bumps along the way, I have grown both my in-person and online/remote-coaching clientele to a respectable level, allowing me the opportunity to travel, picking up skills and experiences around the world.

Seeing how I am still a young coach and business owner, there is still a very tough road ahead. But I am ready for the challenge.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

Simply put, my day to day role as a performance coach is to help my clients perform at their best through strategic physical and mental training.

Over the last 6 years, I have had the opportunity to coach and develop local, provincial, national and international level athletes coming from various sporting backgrounds including:

  • basketball
  • hockey
  • tennis
  • badminton
  • powerlifting
  • strongman
  • weightlifting
  • martial arts.

I have also worked with business, health and enforcement professionals such as nurses, police officers and stuntmen.

As a small business owner, my responsibilities are endless, from running my own website and blog, to creating social media posts and marketing my own training services.

As a content creator, I have been writing articles and putting out informative videos dating back to my university days.

Currently, I write for my own blog as well as other professional athletic development websites.

The goal with this content is to share my knowledge with the world and make a positive impact on the industry as a whole.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Every morning starts off with a lot of water and some coffee. If I have no clients in the morning, I will fast. This improves my mental clarity and benefits my reading/writing.

If I do have clients, I will review the training programs that will be carried out that day, while eating breakfast.

The awesome, yet challenging thing about my work life is that not one work day looks identical to another.

Since my coaching schedule depends on my client’s availability, I need to be extremely flexible in order to fit in all my other business obligations:

  • training program design/planning
  • responding to online coaching clients
  • training video footage review
  • social media posts
  • business admin tasks
  • writing.

No matter how busy I am, I will always make time to train. I train at least 5 times a week, usually fitting in training sessions in between clients.

Most of my free time comes at night, where I will either spend time with my girlfriend, friends, brainstorm about training and work, or read/watch something unrelated to work. I always go by feel.

4) In between everything you do and all your responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

In my experience, perfect work-life balance is a myth. It is something I strive for, but have yet to reach.

I’m a believer that you have to be a little crazy and even obsessed to do something amazing or create something incredible.

There have been times where work has completely consumed my life. Especially in the earlier years where I was trying to prove myself as a coach, make a name for myself in the city, and put myself on the industry map.

At other times, family, friends and relationship commitments, the obsession with my own athletic development and my own personal demons got in the way of my ability to do what’s best for my clients and for my business.

There will be times where I have to sacrifice aspects of my personal life in order to propel my career and business to the next level.

Other times I have to take a small step back from the business to focus on personal development and putting energy back into relationships with the people that matter to me most.

To ensure I can handle the fluctuations in work-life commitments, I make sure I stay as introspective and adaptable as possible.

5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

Work rarely leaves my mind.

When it comes to taking “time out” I try to pick up new hobbies that are mentally stimulating, as I find that any physical or sporting endeavour I pursue will more often than not, be related back to athletic performance and coaching.

My girlfriend and best friends are my biggest supporters, as well as my escape from work-related stress.

Whether it be grabbing a beer with the boys, or a date night with the girlfriend, spending time with them helps me recharge.

Lately, I have been working harder to show more appreciation and spend more time with my parents. Gratitude and positivity are habits that benefit my mental health and as a result improves my coaching abilities.

Developing and maintaining so many relationships with others can sometimes become mentally fatiguing.

When I’m alone, just being outside is also one of the biggest ways I like to reset myself physically and mentally.

Long bike rides or running alone puts me in a calm and meditative state, where I always come out feeling more positive and energized to interact with others again.

6) Are there any gadgets, tools or products can’t you live without?

Yes! My headphones. Music is my escape from the world and plays a tremendous part in my life.

There are only few instances throughout the day when I am not listening to music, such as when I’m with clients, writing and reading or training.

7) Do you have any books that you love and would like to recommend?

A book I have been reading and going back to periodically for the last several months is Meditiations by Marcus Aurelius.

It is essentially a collection of writings of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and his practice of Stocism.

Realizing that the introspective struggles he faced during the ancient times are not much different than the struggles of contemporary men and women, motivates me to improve my understanding of myself and how to deal with the changing world around me.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Whether it be in a notebook/journal or an online platform like Google Calendar, I will make sure I schedule a daily to-do list; usually the night before or the first thing in the morning.

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