“Re-Defining Expectations” The Linsey Jackson Interview (Best of the best series)

Can trainer have a favorite client?…

That is definitely an unfair question, that is like asking a parent if he or she has a favorite child. Now I am not saying personal training clients are like children, what I am saying is, that it is not really possible to have just one favorite, every client is completely unique, it really is comparing apples to oranges. So while it is true that all clients are different making it nearly impossible to compare them to each other, I can however tell you that there is definitely a distinction between good clients and GREAT clients. Great clients are…well… GREAT! They are an absolute pleasure to train and are the primary reason personal trainers love their jobs!


Strong is beautiful! Also the gloves are a much nicer upgrade #Winning

So what makes a great client? Well for starters, they are committed to achieving excellence (no matter their starting point)! But there’s more, a great client shares many of the same values as some of the most successful people on the planet, which makes them truly inspirational! Great clients are also fully aware that they are in complete control over their own destiny. This is because at some point in their fitness/life journey they made the realization that the only person that can prevent them from achieving their goals is themselves. Once this revelation has been made, they start to become unstoppable, they begin to experience a burning desire to break the status-quo, and they start letting their own light shine brighter than ever!

Great clients not only possess an amazingly strong mental toughness which allows them to overcome almost any obstacle, they also possess the work ethic needed to achieve any goal they desire. But most importunately Great clients respect/enjoy the journey! This enjoyment of the journey comes from the knowledge that success comes slowly (life is a marathon not a sprint) but at the same time they also take pride in knowing that each and everyday they become just a little better! Because of all this, a great client is not only fun to be around but they inspire and even push the trainer to be better. That’s what makes a great client, a person who works so hard and accomplishes so much that the trainer has to step up his game just to keep up!

Linsey Feb 2014

Linsey doing the first ever CINCO Saturday (Feb 2014)

One client that has no doubt pushed me to be better is Linsey Jackson. I even remember her first day in the gym, she drove up in a Tesla, drinking Apollinaris Sparkling Mineral Water Mineral Water, wearing J-lo shades and walking around like she owned the place. Things got even more interesting when I asked her if she needed gloves, she told me, “no, I have my own”,  and showed me the cheapest and most generic $10 gloves ever! The gloves made me laugh a little as they definitely didn’t fit her, “I like the finer things” profile.

These were the "high end" gloves Linsey had. LOL

These were the “high end” gloves Linsey had when she first walked into the gym. LOL!

It is this same profile (liking the finer things) that I love about Linsey, she is a great reminder that, sometimes we should have a really nice bottle of wine, or (finally) “upgrade” to much nicer boxing gloves, lol, but seriously, it is a good reminder that sometimes we all need to stop and smell the roses, that life is too short not to enjoy our time here. But it is deeper than just the love of nice things, Linsey is just successful at life, in fact her personal motto is, “winning” and quite frankly just like DJ Khalid, “all she does is win”!

Linsey is “winning” mom, she “wins” in her career, she “wins” in the gym and quite frankly she wins at life. In a world where most people are happy doing the bare minimum, Linsey has a way of pushing the limits not only finding ways to exceed expectations but actually re-defining expectations. Linsey’s attitude about life reminds me about the 4-min mile, the expectation was that it could not be done, however, once Roger Bannister re-defined the expectation of human physical performance a once impossible task for the worlds best athletes has now become possible for high school students! And that is why it is an honor to train Linsey, because she has taught me about not settling for standards that were set forth by other people, because greatness is achieved not by meeting the standards but by setting them higher then previously thought possible. So thank you Linsey, that is some powerful knowledge!

Strong mind and strong body. Practicing Mindfulness using the MUSE headband!

So I challenge you all to redefine your expectations for your job, redefine your expectations about your health and most importantly redefine your expectation about what you can accomplish over your lifetime! The time is now to let your light shine brighter than thought possible!

Check out the Linsey Jackson interview below:

Besides being a CKO Superhero and one of Garett’s hardcore clients, what is your day job? I’m a Recruiting manager for a Social Networking company. My teams help hire our Software engineers. I also have 2 little boys, which keeps me busy. 🙂

What are your hobbies? Playing with my boys, kickboxing, gardening, hanging out with friends and family, rock climbing, drinking red wine (in moderation). I also love traveling, especially to other countries or places I’ve never been before.


Bringing friends to CKO


How did you first learn of CKO?  Tracy! She convinced me to check it out, so glad I did. Garett was the instructor for my first class, and he beat us all into submission. I was so exhausted that I tried to get into someone else’s car afterwards.

What are some of your fitness goals? Generally to be strong, and badass. Getting stronger helps me wrangle and keep up with my boys. It’s important to me to be my best, for them.

Photo shoot

Photo shoot

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? Levelling up, getting better and better.  I usually train with G first thing in the morning, and I must say – the rest of my day is better because of it. He helps me set the pace for performing at my best throughout the day, week etc… in all aspects of my life.

Would you recommend Garett’s personal training services? If so, why? Yes! Yes yes yes.  He’s challenging, but fun and he gets results.  Like I mentioned, he helps push me to be better, with training and it carries over to everything I do.  He inspires me to keep finding my limits, push them, find new ones, push them etc…

Chains for breakfast

Chains for breakfast

What is the best part about training with Garett? Where do I begin? The results are great, but what comes out of his mouth while we’re training is entertaining and can be pretty inspiring. I like to describe it as “Renon Realness.” Here are some examples:

(Garett Renon quotes)

”I don’t know who is going to dominate the world, but it won’t be a weak b*tch”

“Can you make that look…more…athletic?”

“I just want to help people not be weak b*tches”

“I know it feels heavy…but this is really not a lot of weight”

“Wow, you look tired today”

He does a great job toeing the line with being supportive, pushing me, and never quite being satisfied with my progress.  One of my other favorite things is when he goes on philosophical rants about anything from the decline of society to whether or not aliens exist.  Really helps me get through the 7am work outs.

What was the hardest part about training with Garett? He is challenging and hard to impress. For example, I worked up to doing 1 pull-up a while back (I can do 4 now!). I was sooo impressed with myself, and Garett’s response was (shrug) “that’s like level 1, level 0 maybe. Everyone should be able to pull themselves up” 🙂 He keeps me humble though!

Photo shoot

Photo shoot

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?  Push press is not my favorite. Neither is walking weighted lunges and weighted step-ups on the box. I think G knows I hate them and incorporates them as often as possible to keep me in my place. JK, but he does keep pushing me to overcome my weaknesses, and embrace/defeat the things I struggle most with. It’s good for all of us to have someone like that around, keeping us honest and keeping it real. #RenonRealness 🙂



The History of Club-12 – One Man’s Crazy or One Man’s courage?

I am going to tell you a story about CKO Seattle’s history that is guaranteed to spark a philosophical debate that will rival the greatest debates known to man; What is the meaning of life? Are we living in a computer simulation? And of course, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

So what is the topic of this debate, you ask? Who created club 12 (originally called the push-up club)?

Push-up club!

Who created the Push-up club?

Sound like a boring question? Think again, it gets much better

Now before we get into the debate I need to give you some background information about how club 12 came to be. Pay attention because this information will be critical in helping you come to your own conclusion…

We have to go back to nearly the beginning, it was fall of 2012, and during the 1st break of a typical evening class “it” happened (or did “it”?). Back then, our breaks were just 2-laps, and then get some water. But on this particular night one man ran his two laps and went back to his bag and started doing push-ups. That man…none other than Jon Rogers. But now is where the story starts to get interesting. See, if you have ever met Jon Rogers you know that man has a ton of energy, he is definitely the life of the party, and some would even say, he is just plain crazy.  I only point out this “crazy, life of the party” attitude to present to you with your first piece of evidence.

Life of the party!

Life of the party!

Jon doing push-up during a break was not necessarily out of the ordinary, it was really just Jon being Jon. Now I can’t exactly remember how long Jon continued to do push-ups during the breaks, some say a couple of days, some people say a couple of weeks. But then one day someone else decided to join him. That person was none other that Mikael Mörlund. And now here’s were it gets really, really, good.

Mikael at the 2-year anniversary

Mikael at the 2-year anniversary

See when Mikael joined Jon for the break time push-ups, something happened, one became two, and all of a sudden, there was 100% increase in break time push-up participation. See 1 maybe the loneliest number, but two is definitely a party…

So here is the debate: There is no doubting that Jon was the first person to conduct break time push-ups, but he is just one man, and one man is not a party. But what about the first follower? How much courage must that take? Some would argure it takes more courage to be the first follower than is does to be the creator because once the first follower joins he automatically gives other people permission to join the party.

Mikael and Jon (double impact style)

Mikael and Jon (double impact style)

The best case study for this debate is the viral video taken at the Sasquatch Music Festival in 2009. The video shows one man dancing by himself. But then 18-secs into the video you see the first follower join the lone dancer. Then at 53-secs another man joins the party and once this third person joins the other two dancers a tipping point has been reached and then suddenly the entire music festival joins in on the dance party.

So after watching the video, who started the dance party? Was it the crazy guy dancing by himself or was it the courages second guy who gave validity to the lone dancer?

Some people say the first guy to do something is the creator, others say that without the “first follower” the first guy is just crazy, you be the judge. I want to hear from you? Who do you think was responsible for creating club 12? One man’s “crazy” or one man’s courage? Let the debate begin.

Shame on you! (Podcast episode 7)


There is a lot of shaming going on, is this because of the anonymity of the Internet or is this a self reflection of low self-confidence? In this episode Garett and Jessica discuss the latest fit shaming article and then Jessica yells at Garett for being a “shame-er” of low self-confidence. Also kids in the gym, yes or no? Should the gym be your alone time? What about girls becoming bulky? Both Garett and Jessica hope to finally put an end to this ridiculous myth? What about those superbowl commercials, or better yet what do the movies that were promoted during the SuperBowl say about us as a society?

Check out this episode!

“Dedication” The Robin Rogers Inteview

Have you heard of Cal Ripken Jr? Well, he is definitely one of the best baseball players of all time, but it wasn’t his 19 all-star appearances or his golden glove awards that set him apart from all the other great players, it was his durability! Over the span of 16-years (1982-1998) Cal Ripken never missed a game. That’s right, he played in 2,632 consecutive games, playing through injuries and illnesses, and even playing in games that had no playoff implications. This type of durability, persistence, and dedication is an amazing feat and is seen in few too many people!

The transformation has been amazing!

CKO’s own “Ironman” Robin Rogers. The journey has been amazing!

So when it comes to durability, persistence, and dedication at CKO Seattle/2.0 one person comes to mind, and that person is Robin Rogers. While it maybe a bit much to compare her to Cal Ripken Jr, over the last 2-years she has attend 620 classes at CKO alone, not to mention her classes at 2.0, her running group practices, focus mitt sessions and Pilates/yoga, it is safe to say that Robin averages 1-workout a day! This is an amazing feat, considering that she works full-time as an accountant, managing the accounts for several hotels. In addition to a very demanding job, Robin has suffered many of the same “setbacks” as everyone else, over the last 2-years she has had a few injuries, there has also been a cold or two, there have been work trips, and there has even days where she just felt “tired”, but just like Cal Ripken Jr, she always finds a way to rally!

Robin’s dedication has been a major source of inspiration for not only for myself but for many of the other gym members. Not only has she been a major source of my inspiration, she also has a way of keeping me “honest”. Over the last couple of years we definitely have had our fair share of heated debates, however, once the debate is over we usually come to a resolution or at least agree to disagree 😉 .

So if you are curious about following along with Robin on her fitness journey head over to her Facebook page and click like.

Read the Robin Rogers interview below:

Making all kinds of GAINZ

Besides being a CKO Superhero and one of Garett’s hardcore clients, what is your day job?

I do accounting for Pineapple Hospitality. They own several hotels in the area.

What are your hobbies?

CKO and 2.0! I love working out and hanging out with family and friends. I love to cook, especially healthy food!

July 2014

July 2014

How did you first learn of CKO?

I saw the balloons and heard the DJ on opening day. I forced Jon to go in and ask about pricing. He came back to the car with no information and I made him go back in and get the pricing :), I then signed up and took my orientation with Garett and I immediately knew there was something special about this place.

What are some of your fitness goals? Well these have evolved over the last couple of years. I wanted to run a 5K-done, and do a CINCO-done, be a size 14-done, so now I’m working on a size 8 and a pull-up. Oh, also 150-lbs bench press. I’m not aiming for perfection but I want to have the endurance and energy to live my life to the fullest.

Hardwork pays off!

Hardwork pays off!

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? I can’t imagine not working out anymore. I need to work out to bring energy to my staff and my life. I surround myself with positive hardworking individuals that inspire me.

Would you recommend Garett’s personal training services? If so, why? I love Garett. He is such an important person to me. Garett has the experience and knowledge that I can trust. I respect him and his lifestyle. I love that he is up early in the morning and workouts daily at both locations. I can look up to him. He also is very funny and witty.

What is the best part about training with Garett? Well since I’ve worked out with him for over 2 yrs. Our relationship has certainly changed. We like to debate or bicker sometimes. I always try to calm him down :). I trust Garett completely when it comes to personal training. I know he wants the best results from me. I love his calmness. He is about the client and wants commitment from whoever he trains. He doesn’t train everyone.

Now that is a great looking roundhouse!

Now that is a great looking roundhouse!

What is the hardest part about training with Garett?

He has very high standards. I love that he wants my squats to be perfect in form. He expects his clients to give their best and even if you ask for a light workout…you won’t get it. Also as the owner of the gym. People sometimes interrupt our sessions. Everyone wants his attention.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? Squats and deadlifts are getting scary. When I lift heavy mentally I need to concentrate and sometimes my mind gets the better of me. I also really, really want to do a pull-up!!!

What can Garett do better to help you actualize your true potential? Well…we are now meeting once a month and discussing my results. I need more encouragement sometimes 🙂 .

Surround yourself with positive people

Surround yourself with positive people

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO/2.0 team members might not know about you: 

I joined in July of 2013 and it was hard. I couldn’t do much of a workout back then. I couldn’t run laps, do push-ups, or jumping jacks. Since joining I’ve lost a ton of weight and my resting heart rate is 50. I’m pretty strict with my diet but wine/margaritas are my weaknesses. I workout 3-4 times a week doing CKO and then 2-3 times doing weights. I also added Pilates to my schedule. I try to be at work by 6am so I can be at the gym by 5pm. Planning food, grocery shopping, and workouts are so crucial to having success. I also have very good friends at CKO who get me to the gym and that includes Garett. I try to take his classes whenever possible. I haven’t found a workout that compares to CKO. I’ve done three 5k’s since joining and no longer have the fear of running around green lake. I modify my workouts sometimes! I don’t always do roundhouses or sprawls depending on what my body is telling me. To date I am happy to announce that I have lost over 35-inches off my body!!! I just love the workouts, my trainer, and my friends at CKO!