#PTonICE Daily Show – Thursday, November 30th, 2023 – Fitness forward: the origin of a term

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, ICE Chief Executive Office Jeff Moore discusses the origin of the term “fitness-forward” and how developing your “nose” for the essence of your business principles can help clarify your mission while helping your brand.

Take a listen to the podcast episode or read the full transcription below.

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All right, team, what is up? Welcome back to the PT on Ice Daily Show. Thrilled to have you here. My name is Dr. Jeff Moore, currently serving as the CEO of ICE, and always thrilled to be here on a Leadership Thursday, which is always a Gut Check Thursday. Let’s do the workout, let’s chat about some courses, and then I can’t wait for today’s topic. I’ve been waiting a long time to do this one, so I can’t wait to jump into it, but first, the workout. Gut Check Thursday, it is Lynchpin Test 14. It’s quick, but it’s painful. It is 15 clean and jerks at 135/95, then you’re going to go 30/20 on the fan bike, and then right back to 15 clean and jerks. Relatively simple couplet, but one can be certain that second set of clean and jerks is going to feel nothing like that first set of clean and jerks. You’re going to be exhausted from the first set. And if you went big on the bike, Lord knows you’re going to be feeling every bit of that energy on every rep of that second set of clean and jerks times. Probably five six seven minutes. I mean this should not be a long workout Especially if you really put out on that bike, so please tag us ice physio Hashtag ice train get them up on Instagram Let’s all suffer a bit together here on gut check Thursday as far as course is coming up I want to say two things number one The first couple weeks of January are going to be packed with all of our online courses. We have six of them firing up in the first couple weeks and darn near all of them in the first month. But in the first couple weeks, we’ve got Injured Runner, Persistent Pain, Brick by Brick, we have Pelvic Level 1 and Older Adult Level 1. We also have Older Adult Level 2. Now what I want to say is, if you’re going to jump into one of those, remember that prices go up to $6.95 on January 1st. So buy your ticket before January 1st. It’s only $45 or $50, but save a little bit of cash and snag that ticket at some point here during December. If you’re jumping in early January anyways, you might as well save yourself $50. So hop on the website, PTOnIce.com, and get that done.

Let’s talk about fitness forward, specifically The origin of the term. So I get this question all the time. Where did that term come from? What does it even really mean, fitness forward? So I’m gonna answer that once and for all. I’m gonna give you some clarity on that. But I also wanna share a branding lesson while we do so. So if you’re not overly concerned about where the term fitness forward originally came from, stay tuned because I hope that by the end of this, you see a significant branding pearl that you can incorporate into your own business or practice. First things first, to understand the origins of this, you have to know a little bit about kind of our company’s evolution. And if you look at it over the past 10, 12 years, there have been kind of what I look at as three really significant changes that fostered our evolution that really helped us solidify the who and the why we exist.

The first one is a huge increase in strength and conditioning principles across the professions of physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, especially around like the early 2010s, like 2012, 13, 14. I was out there teaching almost constantly. I mean, every weekend, every other weekend. And we were teaching, you know, kind of traditional manual therapy and patient expectation and sales stuff. and things to level up your practice. But the questions that I was getting was so oftentimes not so much around those things, but more around, OK, cool, how do I incorporate strength and conditioning principles? What about after the fire’s out? How do I keep people on my schedule and really deliver above and beyond just making them feel a bit better? How do I incorporate strengthening and resistance training into injury prevention? And it was very clear to me during those years that that was where the profession wanted to go. That was where a lot of the more exciting research was coming out. Even things around like longevity and healthspan and life quality and all of these things around lifestyle behaviors, resistance training, strength and conditioning were just flooding the research and everybody rightfully so was so excited about it. What nobody had though was answers for them, myself included. I remember looking around thinking, I really don’t know where this stuff lives. It certainly doesn’t live in PT schools. It still really doesn’t. It wasn’t in traditional residency and fellowship programs. Those were a lot more focused around the exciting manual therapy research of the early 2000s. They were built from that space. So it didn’t really exist out there. Nobody seemed to have the answer. So watching this interest grow, is what led me to reach out to Mitch Babcock and say, big guy, you got to show the profession this stuff. Like this is in your DNA. You live and breathe this stuff. You got to build a course that shows the profession of physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractors out there, how to move a barbell around. how to get fit, how to get other people fit, basics of programming, how to work around injury. There is a clear desire for this information that if we had, it could lead to significantly better lives for our patients, but we don’t know what we got to build it. So that’s where the fitness athlete curriculum started, right? Started off as that first, what we used to call the essential foundations course. It’s now level one. And of course, over the years, it’s now built into advanced concepts, the live course, the entire certification. But that’s where it started. And as it was building, first of all, the reception from our profession was unbelievable. Like, we totally underestimated the demand for that material. To have a concise course that showed people how to do these lifts, how to program them, how to get people fit while getting themselves fit, we underestimated demand. The enthusiasm was incredible. but it wasn’t just the students. We as faculty were learning along the way. We were getting more and more into it. Becoming fit and living that life and being about it became more and more important to all of us. As it did, we were hiring people who were already living and breathing that life. And so the compilation of the ICE faculty was moving in that direction as we were learning and teaching this content. Well, what happened then was really important. As we all began to get more excited about it, live, breathe it, demonstrate it, we really started to understand the power of be about it. As we started swapping stories with each other, we began to realize the impact that us working out and being fired up about the stuff at courses was having on participants. We were getting emails of people who said, hey, great class. Love the content. But I also want to say, hey, thanks for the workout. I’ve been slipping a bit in that space. And that really called me back to action. It really motivated me. Here’s what I’ve done since that course. I’ve gotten into the gym. I’ve gotten my family into the gym. And we started realizing this is where the magic’s at.

It’s actually demonstrating this stuff. It’s actually living, it’s being an example. Well then, we all carried that kind of from the classroom over into our clinics. And we got louder about it in the clinic. We started sharing workouts for the community. And we really realized this is where it’s at. Being about it is the answer. People don’t need more education, they need more inspiration. That quote kind of came from this evolution of like people don’t need more knowledge, they need an example to follow. If you lead people, they will follow you. It’s not about education, it’s about inspiration. As all of this came together, our growing enthusiasm ourselves, the enthusiasm in our students, then the enthusiasm in our patients and our communities, we realized, and I can point to one moment when it all kind of crystallized, it was in 2017, the very first ICE sampler. We were sitting on Justin Dunaway and Morgan Denny’s patio in Portland, Oregon. And we’re sitting there throwing around these stories of people who had come to our courses and had this great experience working out, how fired up they were, how their lives are better off now for it. And I’m sitting there on the patio, and I said, that’s it. From this moment on, you never go to an ICE course that doesn’t have a workout. It’s mandatory. It’s who we are. And I remember it felt so right to say that it was now, we were already doing it organically, but it was now baked into the process. This is who we are. If you engage with the ICE community, you get fitter because of it and all the beautiful sequelae that come along with that. So this evolution really helped to solidify our mission. We now knew exactly what we taught and what we did. We managed symptoms to maximize fitness for every age and stage. That’s it. We know now exactly who we are, what we’re teaching others to do, and the wording of all of that is really important, right? The order of that. We manage symptoms. We don’t need to erase symptoms. We don’t need to cure symptoms. We need to manage them. We need to improve them when they can, but we need to work around them at times. But we manage symptoms for the higher goal of maximizing fitness. Because when you maximize fitness, you don’t just change back pain, you change lives. I mean, you transform that individual’s life. That’s why it’s in that order. You are totally managing symptoms, and your efficiency at doing so is critical. But it’s for the goal of maximizing fitness, and it’s for every age and stage. If you look at our course catalog, that’s who we are. We’re breaking down barriers for older adults, right? It’s old not weak and it’s avoiding one rep max living. We’re taking it to the pregnancy and postpartum space and getting rid of those myths, right? And debunking all that stuff that you can’t lift heavyweights further on into your pregnancy. That you can’t do things at more of an individualized timeline afterwards before the generic six weeks. We’re breaking down barriers because everybody gets fitness. And we’re going to find a way to make that happen. Quotes like, you don’t leave the gym, you use the gym. You work around the injuries. The point is, this evolution through fitness being incorporated into our company is what allowed our mission to be solidified, that we manage symptoms to maximize fitness for every age and stage.

OK, but why the actual term? So you get the importance of fitness now within the ice culture, but why the term fitness forward? It still sounds kind of funny. The answer to that is kind of funny. So before I became a physical therapist, my first professional love was wine. So I managed restaurants. I sold wine. I learned everything I could about wine. I love wine. I have not drank alcohol in years. I still love wine. I love everything about it. I love how it brings people together. I love how it’s cultivated. I love literally everything about it. Not to get too technical and go into a big wine lesson, But an important thing about enjoying wine… is understanding how to savor the nose of the wine. Most of you are familiar with this idea, right, of swirling your glass, right, and making some of those aromatics volatile so you can put your nose in the glass and you can take in some of those beautiful senses, right, of the different smells and characteristics and the heat of the wine, right? It’s beyond just smell. By the way, not to get really technical, but if the wine is high alcohol, don’t put your nose so far into the glass, right? I see this all the time. If you’ve got a big cabernet that’s 13.5% and you swirl the glass, if you bury your nose way in there, it’s just going to be hot. Because that alcohol is going to be so like, whoa, so upfront, you’re not going to really enjoy the nuances of that experience. Higher alcohol, keep your nose closer to the brim of the glass. You have a lower alcohol, you got a German Riesling, 8.5% or something, by all means, dive in. But higher alcohol, just give yourself a little bit of space to make sure you enjoy all the complexities. Now getting back to the podcast, the point is that nose is kind of what you walk away with when you think about a wine. It’s the essence, right? I looked up the term essence before this podcast, the actual definition. The essence is a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is. To me, when you’re getting the nose of that wine and you’re getting that really subtle tone of leather, right, or some of that French oak, right? And you’re like, oh, I can really catch that. That really jumps out at me. Without that, it wouldn’t be the same wine. That’s what you walk away with. It’s the wine’s essence. The nose, if you will, of ice is fitness forward. Right, no matter where you engage with us, it comes through. It’s the essence, it’s the thing that’s always there. I hope when you see our logo, things like Be About It, Lead From The Front, Old Not Weak, I hope all of these are almost synonymous with that logo. I hope that’s what our essence is and you can feel that. Now the brand lesson I was talking about with you all earlier is that’s what you wanna create.

The goal of solidifying your brand should be clarifying your essence. You should all know exactly what it is that no matter where somebody engages with your product, that comes through. That is a beautiful thing. And when you think about really bonding people around a common purpose, knowing what that is and then clarifying it and solidifying it, that’s where the magic happens. To fully answer the question, where did the term come from? Well, that’s the details. But when did I first say it? I said it in early 2018. It was after that Portland Sampler. It was the next year we were rebranding our ICE logo. And Ryan from THINK Marketing asked me, dude, in one sentence, What is ICE? Who are you? And I said, dude, we’re the and, not, or company. We are fitness-forward, manual therapy skilled, and psychologically informed. And as soon as the words fell out of my mouth, I said, that’s it. That’s who we are. And now you’ve seen the logo, right? It’s got all three of those things on there, but that’s where it came from. And I know that fitness forward came out of my mouth first because that is our true essence. Now, what’s our goal for you, right? Let’s get away from us for a second. What’s our goal for you? Our goal is that your practice becomes fitness forward, right? That when you, if you engage in our content long enough, your practice transforms in that direction because that’s where people are going to make the most life-changing gains. So we love when we walk into your clinics, and we see all the things, right? We see the squat racks, we see the mats, we see the barbells, we see the kettlebells. We know that people are challenging themselves in a way that’s actually going to transform them as a human, not just ameliorate their back pain. It’s part of it, not all of it, right? We hope your practice patterns move in that direction, your equipment moves in that direction. But honestly, to wrap this show up, we hope you move in that direction. We hope that your life becomes fitness forward. Not to get too philosophical on you here, but while I deeply love all the comments and emails about, hey, ICE really transformed my practice, this, that, and the other, I love that stuff. That’s the core of what we do. But I’m not telling you the whole truth. If I don’t say that, what means the most to me is the note that says, hey, I gotta tell you something. I went to this course with a few of your faculty, and they really made this fitness lifestyle approachable and non-threatening, but also relevant and meaningful and emotional in a way that made me change the way that I live my life. And I wanna tell you a bit about why I’m different now than I was before I went to your course. I wanna tell you the effect it had on my family, on my team. If I zoom all the way out, that, that’s what I hope. Us being fitness forward in whatever evolution we took to get here, that’s what I hope the outcome becomes at scale for every single one of you and every single one of the people whose lives you touch in turn.

We are forever fitness forward. We know who we are and we know where we’re trying to go. And I’m so thrilled you’re all going with us. I hope that explains the term ptiice.com is where all the goods live. Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care, everybody.

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