Complicated clients are often, well, complicated. Some are plagued with chronic health issues and some live with chronic pain. Some of you are taking a small pharmacy of daily drugs and some of you have tried every 21-day challenge known to man-kind. Some of you lose weight only to pack it right back on again. Some of you simply can’t stop your poor eating habits and discovered that your pants you wore 3-months ago no longer lift past your thighs.

If this you then Wolf Den Strength wants you.


Let’s be completely honest here. All-coaching facilities that involve a lot of hands-on training don’t like complicated clients. Let’s compare it to a school classroom of challenging students. What teacher really wants to deal with a classroom of students who don’t want to be there, lack focus, can’t see, and are simply not interested in what you have to say? That can be a nightmare for most teachers. However, every once in a while, along comes a teacher who challenges conventional wisdom. Someone who takes on that challenge willingly and accomplishes great things with those challenged students. An opportunity to see things differently and open doors that would have never been opened, if not for someone who believed in them.

Most all-coaching facilities really love the self-motivated goal oriented client base. They are much easier to train and are usually very health conscious and well-disciplined individuals. Coaching these types of clients often leads to quick goal acquisition and beyond because they are always wanting to push themselves. It makes the coaching environment much easier to handle.

I will confess, it’s no easy task to take on the complicated client. It keeps me up at night. I lose sleep because I’m dreaming about getting it right. Clients like these challenge my ability to Coach and peak my doubts like no other. Some days I am literally tortured by the thought of not being able to help them as much as I would like to.

Just this morning, I received an article from my nutrition certification program at Precision Nutrition that talked about coaching difficult clients. It resonated with how I feel and the things that often cross my mind. I started to look at our own gym population and identifying clients with which we are challenged. Here’s a short list:

We have a client with only half her heart. Yes, she has no left side at all.

We have clients who battle eating disorders.

We have clients who battle with addiction.

We have clients who have battled with chronic disease, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue.

We have clients that suffer from chronic depression and mental illness.

We have clients that came to us after tearing their ACL and their shoulder labrum.

We have clients that are severely obese and have been for most of their life.

We have clients that are very weak and lack muscle strength.

Does this sound scary to you? How could I possibly help them all? I begin by not judging anyone because I am…just like them.

I will say this, I am grateful for each and every one of them and I love them all like family. At Wolf Den Strength, we love to take on the challenge they bring to our facility. The bigger the challenge, the greater the reward is how I see it.

Clients like these make me read hundreds of medical journals and stay on top of my game. They make me find differing ways to coach and deliver our message to work hard and stay consistent. They make me listen. Their complicated stories and lives make me feel alive and make me try harder to help them succeed. The fact that they are even here tells me they were ready to be led to the water. Now it’s my job to make them thirsty enough to drink. And, guess what? Each and every one of them has become better and stronger because of their continued membership with Wolf Den Strength.


With that said, how do we take on the complicated client?

We build relationships. We  examine the reasons they want to change in a meaningful and affirming way. This examination into their deeper selves often reveals some truths that go far into building a nurturing relationship.

We build authenticity. Clients know and see that I am as broken and jacked up as they are. I’m not above them. I have ups and downs, I have successes and failures, and I make mistakes. I gain and lose weight just like them. Life is hard on me just like it is on them. I have had failed relationships and family struggles. I am them and the more I welcome in more broken souls like us, the stronger we become together.

We build sincerity. Clients know I am sincere in my quest to help them and know that I don’t have all the answers. But they also know, that I will move mountains to help find them answers and work with them to overcome their personal challenges.

We build connectedness. We build friendships as part of this “Pack Mentality.” It was the reason why my wife and co-founder Christie came up with the Wolf Den Strength name. She wanted it to be a family that loved and protected one another. A family of screwed up, jacked up, failed people who were looking to find salvation in a safe place. A place that challenges conventional wisdom and pushes like no other.


We don’t consider ourselves elite athletes here. We have goals and we develop objectives to meet those goals. We work hard, we don’t judge, and we have fun. We are honest but tough and there are days that challenge the very fiber of who we are and why our clients do this. But, at the end of the day, just like with any loyal family, we realize and know that we are complicated and that our complicated lives have a home which is our Pack.

So bring it on you jacked up souls! We are ready and willing to take you into our family. Feel free to call or email us and ask how we can help you get better, healthier, and happier. All of our information is located on our website here: Wolf Den – Start Here Page.

We look forward to helping you. Here’s a little something to make you laugh as a reward for reading this all the way through: We love Chaddy-Daddy