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Four Pillar Fitness

Four Pillar Fitness

By Phil Hueston

My name is Phil Hueston, and I am not your average pretty trainer. I've spent 20 years in the fitness profession and made enough mistakes to know I don't know squat.

After working with high-level athletes, busy moms and dads, kids of all ages and even Autistic and special needs clients, I've learned that it's not all about sets, reps and meal prep.

I explore all 4 Pillars of Fitness (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) with my clients, and I'll do the same right here. Join me for a sometimes irreverent journey through the "fit-mosphere!"
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Currently playing episode

Happy Hour w/Josh Hillis: No More White Knuckle Diet Rules!

Four Pillar FitnessOct 12, 2018

Overeating? Here's Six Reasons To Stop
Oct 30, 202011:26
On Solitude and the Opinions of Others
Sep 09, 202007:35
Important Things To Know About COVID-19
Jun 02, 202012:35
Help Your Kids Cope With The COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
Mar 25, 202020:19
Coach Feedback Is Brain Food For Athletes
Feb 04, 202013:35
Youth Sports and Kids Emotional Health: A Study Review
Jan 13, 202006:31
Make Resolutions That Don't Suck and Won't Fail!
Jan 02, 202016:56
How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Looking Like Santa's Stunt Double
Dec 14, 201912:44
Grit and Success
Nov 08, 201912:33
Know Stuff: The Gastrocnemius
Oct 09, 201918:21
Should You Hire A Youth Fitness Coach For Your Child?
Sep 13, 201915:13
Accountability or Unnecessary Confrontation for Youth Athletes?

Accountability or Unnecessary Confrontation for Youth Athletes?

Accountability. It's used so often and in so many arenas that it's practically a cliche.

In business, in school and in sports and training, everyone likes to talk about accountability.

For coaches, whether in youth sports or fitness and strength and conditioning, it seems universally accepted that accountability is key.

In these arenas, "holding athletes accountable" is like a ninja skill.

But what if all this accountability is more like a blunt instrument?

What if all we're really doing is beating our athletes over the head and not really making a difference?

Listen in and I'll tell you my thoughts on how we're misusing accountability with youth athletes.

I'll also share some really effective ways to make accountability practically unnecessary - all while getting better results than you or your athletes could have imagined.

But be forewarned, if you're one of those who lives and dies by "accountability," this may sting a little!

But only for a little while...

Remember, you can reach me via voice message at

DM me on Instagram @coachphilhueston

Twitter @philhueston

The website is

Keep the faith and keep after it!

Aug 28, 201915:00
Back to School Nutrition Tips (Real World Edition)
Aug 21, 201913:26
Know Stuff - Leptin Resistance and Your Body Fat
Aug 14, 201908:55
Friday Happy Hour With Lyle McDonald - The Sequel
Aug 08, 201901:20:26
72 Fat Loss Tips That WORK!
Aug 06, 201920:25
Weight Loss Plateaus, Rebound Weight Gain, Brown Fat and Little White Mice
Jul 27, 201908:50
Essential Laws of Strength, Fitness and Performance #1 - More is Not Better, Better is Better!
Jul 17, 201908:28
Five Surefire Ways To Be a Crappy Coach or Trainer

Five Surefire Ways To Be a Crappy Coach or Trainer

Everywhere you look, there seem to be fitness coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers and others in the fitness profession who are trying as hard as they can to suck. They seem to be trying to be terrible.

I'm one of those people who believes that if you really want something and are willing to work at getting it, you should have it. ;)

So I thought I'd do my part to help those folks get what they want.

Join me as I lay out my 5 Surefire Ways to be a Crappy Coach or Trainer.

I'll share some can't fail, idiot-proof strategies for sucking at coaching or training fitness clients.

I'll cover:

  • How to make sure your clients feel like they have absolutely no say in anything that happens in their fitness and nutrition programs!
  • A can't-miss social media strategy to make sure YOU are the absolute star of every post on every platform!
  • How to make sure "accountability" works for you - and only you!
  • How being a terrible parent is a great strategy for coaching your clients!
  • The best way to ensure that you get all the stuff, recognition and influence you deserve - and how to make sure your clients know THAT'S what really matters!
  • How to use fear, pain, scorn and embarrassment as motivational tools!

If you follow my advice, I guarantee you will be the crappiest trainer or coach your clients have ever had!

For those of you who want to be better, there's some light at the end of this tunnel for you!

Be sure to listen through to the end!

Keep the faith and keep after it!

Please share this episode with someone who would enjoy and benefit from it!

Feel free to join me on the website

Catch me on Instagram @coachphilhueston 

Jul 15, 201921:12
Research Round-Up, Vol. 5 - Some Straight Dope on Weed and Your Teens
Jul 09, 201915:16
5 Deadly Sins Parents and Coaches Make in Training Youth Athletes

5 Deadly Sins Parents and Coaches Make in Training Youth Athletes

I've been around the Youth Training and Fitness field for 20 years and I've made enough mistakes to know I don't know everything.

However, I DO know that parents and coaches are still committing some "deadly sins" when it comes to training youth athletes!

Listen in as I share 5 of those "deadly sins." Find out:

  • Why over-specialization is a major problem for your youth athletes!
  • Why linear speed is over-coached, over-emphasized and overrated!
  • Why "sport-specific training" is a crock of BS!
  • Why loading movement too soon could be a fast path to serious injury!
  • Why your kids shouldn't be working out like you!
  • Why our desire for instant gratification is a problem for your youth athlete!

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Instagram @coachphilhueston

Twitter @philhueston

Facebook @CoachPhilHueston

Jun 25, 201914:59
Things You Should Know About Protein
Jun 18, 201914:08
13 Real Life, Science-Backed Reasons to Eat More Protein
Jun 11, 201922:08
The World's Best Sugar Substitute
Jun 07, 201906:38
Research Round-up, Volume 4: All About Your Teenagers
May 29, 201916:28
Friday Happy Hour with Matt Taylor - Heavy Lifting, Periodization and Negative Calorie Oreos

Friday Happy Hour with Matt Taylor - Heavy Lifting, Periodization and Negative Calorie Oreos

Today I'm joined by Matt Taylor of Stronger You Personal Training in Vancouver, BC.

Matt has a unique perspective on the fitness profession and how to help his clients succeed. With a background in cooking and experience as a champion power lifter, he can offer clients knowledge, insight and experience like few others in the fitness field.

Today, he's offering all of that to you, my listeners!

Matt provides some amazing information on power lifting, strength training, nutrition, functional fitness and a whole lot more.

Join us and find out:

Why the best-designed program is the one you'll stick with!

How to design a periodized program for bigger lifts, more muscle and a great physique!

How strength and power development is like a pyramid - and why that should matter to you!

What adaptive resistance is and what YOU can do to keep it from sabotaging your program - and your RESULTS!

Why nutrition is the crux of fitness success and how to make junk food have negative calories (or not)!

Why periodization matters, whether you're a power lifter, "average" fitness enthusiast or training for sports performance!

The best excuse Matt ever got from a client for anything!

This one is worth the listen, without a doubt!

As always, send me your thoughts via voice message on Anchor, via Twitter (@philhueston) or Instagram (@coachphilhueston)

Keep the faith and keep after it!

May 23, 201959:08
The Dirty Dozen - 12 Fruits and Vegetables That Might Be Killing You!
May 21, 201917:27
Why Your Pre-Teen is Weak and What To Do About It!
May 01, 201922:06
Friday Happy Hour with David Jack - Fitness Professional, Guide, Shepherd, Influencer, Activator

Friday Happy Hour with David Jack - Fitness Professional, Guide, Shepherd, Influencer, Activator

My guest today is the inimitable David Jack, "International Man of Mystery!"

When people ask "what does David Jack do?" the answer is often "he's David Jack!"

In truth, however, David is a deep pool of fitness knowledge.

His impact, though, is delivered through his intuition, experience, love, passion and willingness to go where many fitness professionals won't go.

David and I could have 1,000 conversations and never have a slice of the same one twice.

Today we cover a lot of topics that have nothing to do with the "X's and O's."

We talked about:

  • Learning - how we do it as fit pros, how our clients do it and how critical it is to your success (fitness pros AND clients)
  • The role fear in fitness - the bad AND the good!
  • What to do when clients (and anyone else in your life) are having crises - emotional, mental and spiritual - and what not to do!
  • Understanding when the best training session you can deliver has little or nothing to do with exercise, fitness or performance.
  • "Right-sizing" our role in helping our clients find some happiness and balance in a challenging world. (Hint - it has much to do with relationships!)
  • How fitness professionals who are Christian can infuse it into their practice while allowing people of all creeds to feel served, comfortable and loved right where they are.
  • The nature of true service for all fitness professionals - and everyone else!
  • What the best things in fitness are right now!
  • How David had me at "not doing burpees!"
  • David's favorite Disney princess, favorite superhero and the guilty pleasure nobody knows he has.

This was one of my all-time favorite Happy Hour interviews with one of my favorite people on the planet.

Give it a listen and please share your thoughts!

Apr 25, 201901:25:02
Five Weight Loss Diets (and One Diet Trend) That Suck

Five Weight Loss Diets (and One Diet Trend) That Suck

Most people, at some point, would like to lose weight.

Some people really want to lose weight! Some folks want to lose a lot of weight.

If you are, or have been, one of these people, you've probably realized that losing weight in the modern world can be a challenge!

You may even have thought there might be a shortcut.

Well, an entire industry has been built up around diets and weight loss.

Some of it is legitimate, but some of it is misleading, greedy and even downright dangerous!

Today, I look at 5 weight loss diets that aren't simply not backed up by fitness science, they're foolish, pointless and dangerous.

I also take on one pretty generally accepted weight loss trend - the "cleanse" diet industry.

I'm probably going to ruffle some feathers here, but as they say, "if the shoe fits..."

Join me and then share your own experiences with weight loss, dieting and all that goes with it!

Apr 23, 201912:14
5 1/2 Phrases Fitness Professionals Need to Know AND Use

5 1/2 Phrases Fitness Professionals Need to Know AND Use

If you are a Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, Physical Therapist or other health and fitness professional, this episode is for you!

Of course, these phrases may actually make your life better even if you're NOT one of these.

As Fitness Professionals, we tend to place a high value on education.

We want to know as much as we can about biomechanics, kinesiology, fitness science, programming, nutrition, recovery and everything else that makes up the "X's and O's" of fitness, wellness, health and performance.

But what about communication? Without it, your just a smart person with no clients.

I'm offering these 5 1/2 phrases I think every one of us in the fitness profession should know and use regularly.

This is not an exhaustive list, and I'm certain I'll be adding more phrases in the future.

But this is a good start. 

Perhaps more important is the context around each phrase. The reasons why you should use them as much as what they are.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

And (spoiler alert!) THANK YOU for listening!

Apr 12, 201915:59
Know Stuff: The Rotator Cuff
Apr 09, 201919:13
Friday Happy Hour with Mike Howard - Extremism, Tribalism, Fitness and Nutrition

Friday Happy Hour with Mike Howard - Extremism, Tribalism, Fitness and Nutrition

Today's Happy Hour episode is a great interview with Mike Howard, owner and Choice Architect at Lean Minded.

A fitness and nutrition coach with over 21 years in the profession, Mike shares some unique insights, high quality information and some really wise thoughts on fitness, nutrition, habit development and why Belle of Beauty and the Beast is a badass.

Listen in and find out Mike's take on:

The self-forgiveness/self-reflection/self-awareness continuum and why it can be critical for success when trying to create lasting change!

Overcoming fear and letting actions become habits and spur mindset change!

What the "what the hell" effect really is.

Creating systems for managing fitness and nutrition during stressful and chaotic times in your life!

Why he wants to make the "unrevolutionary" revolutionary!

Tribalism and extremism in fitness and nutrition - and how it hurts all of us!

Being a student first, teacher second and servant always.

The "dirty little secret" that is Mike's skin care regimen.

Why Belle (Beauty and the Beast) is kind of a badass.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment or question!

Mar 28, 201950:38
Jacob McLaughlin Picks My Brain About Starting a Youth Fitness Program

Jacob McLaughlin Picks My Brain About Starting a Youth Fitness Program

Usually during my podcast interviews, I'm the one asking the questions.

Today, we flip that script and let Jacob McLaughlin of Jeremy Scott Fitness in Scottsdale, Arizona pick my brain about starting and running a youth fitness program.

We cover topics including:

How do you get started finding new clients right out of the gate?

Why every session you run must be unique, exciting and memorable.

Why you shouldn't want to train every athlete in every sport!

How to make team training work.

Why, when it comes to training and fitness for kids, they're not just "little adults!"

Ways to make the summer months more profitable.

Why inclusivity and the environment and culture in your facility matter and how they can lift your "non-athletes" to step into their athletic potential.

Jacob asked some great questions!

Give it a listen and be sure to share your thoughts!

Mar 26, 201953:01
Happy Hour with Gideon Akande - Finance, Fitness and Authenticity

Happy Hour with Gideon Akande - Finance, Fitness and Authenticity

This week's Happy Hour features the one and only Gideon Akande!

Gideon is an in-demand fitness professional, coach and leader.

Based in Chicago, Giddy has had the opportunity to express fitness around the world and deliver an impact right in his own home town.

Winner of Men's Health's "Next Top Trainer" in 2015, Gideon is a passionate ambassador for health and fitness.

Author of the Riptensity program, he's also a NordicTrack Ifit Elite Trainer.

What you may not know about him is that he is also a Chicago Golden Gloves Boxing Champion and former Div.1 football player (Holy Cross.)

In this fun and enlightening interview, Giddy offers his insights, intuition and wisdom about becoming and being a fitness coach, where the profession is going and a range of other topics.

Listen in to hear:

> Why feeling like his "value proposition" didn't matter in his finance career changed his life for the better.

> Gideon's thoughts on managing fear - for both coaches and clients.

> Why you should surround yourself with people who lift you up and why you should run from naysayers and enablers of "good enough."

> How "casting a wide net" professionally has helped him succeed and be happier!

> Why authenticity and being polarizing might just go together.

> How a seemingly random Instagram DM led to a great relationship with a top company - and a trip to film fitness in Thailand!

> What about goat yoga? What about goat yoga boxing?

> What's unique about fitness in the city vs. the 'burbs.

> Is the future of fitness really about fusing disciplines?

> Why Life Saver gummies beat Haribo gummies hands down.

This one will have you learning and laughing all at once!

Give it a listen and be sure to share your thoughts!

Mar 21, 201958:12
Expectations, Stress, Addiction and a Death Too Young

Expectations, Stress, Addiction and a Death Too Young

No script today. No notes. Just a real, raw monologue.

A young man I coached in the late 2000's just died of a heroin overdose.

It's caused me a lot of pain, because I feel like I failed him.

I know it doesn't work that way.

He was a high-performing high school athlete.

Then on to college. Seemed to have the world on a string.

Everyone expected him to succeed...and maybe that was part of the problem.

Many of our highest achieving athletes and kids are the most "at-risk."

I've written and podcasted about this before.

Today, I'm talking about this and making a plea for all of us - parents, coaches, teammates and friends - to be willing to "step into the breach" to help these kids when needed.

Of course you won't always know it's needed.

Of course it won't always be accepted.

Of course you may fail anyway.

Ignore all that and do it anyway.

Athletes and kids all across this nation are counting on us.

Mar 20, 201912:54
Research Round-Up, Volume 3
Mar 12, 201911:26
Friday Happy Hour with Ben Boudro - Tragedy, Humility, Victory

Friday Happy Hour with Ben Boudro - Tragedy, Humility, Victory

A casual look at the life of Ben Boudro, owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, Michigan, might lead you to believe he's like a lot of other fitness professionals.

Fit, successful, family man, living the dream. And all of those things are true.

But there's more to Ben's story.

A deeper pool of humility, integrity and real, raw emotion.

Join me and find out:

> How a career-ending wrestling injury launched a deep love of fitness, training and athleticism!

> Why running a fitness business in a facility without heat or air conditioning can lead to the building of a strong fitness community!

> How Ben went from wanting to be a fitness social media celebrity to only sharing the real, raw truth!

> How a traumatic family event spurred Ben to emotional and spiritual victory!

> The habits you REALLY need to develop to enjoy long-term fitness and weight loss success! (Hint: it ain't what you think!)

As always, your thoughts are welcome!

Mar 07, 201933:05
8 Essential Reasons to Drink Water Like Your Life Depends On It

8 Essential Reasons to Drink Water Like Your Life Depends On It

Water. It's essential, right?

Then why do so many people fail to drink enough to avoid dehydration?

I'm not talking about people in drought-stricken areas.

I mean people in areas with plenty of water.

You know you should drink more water. You know it's good for you.

But did you know HOW good for you? Were you aware of how many really cool things happen when you get enough?

You lose weight more easily!

You perform better (in lots of ways!)

You get smarter (for real!)

Your heart is healthier.

You avoid getting all "backed up" (YOU know what I mean!)

You get better looking and more charming. (Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little.)

Give a listen and find out just how essential water really is for you, your body and your health!

Some of this stuff might really surprise you!

Mar 01, 201915:27
Know Stuff Episode 2 - Orthorexia Nervosa
Feb 20, 201920:04
The Fools on the Treadmills

The Fools on the Treadmills

"Walk the pounds off!"

"Jog to lose weight!"

You've been told all your life that low-intensity, steady-state cardio for long periods of time is the best way to lose weight, get heart-healthy and look great.

So why aren't all those people slogging along on treadmills impressive physical specimens?

Because it's a lie!

Cardio is crap, at least the kind that's been sold to us by doctors, health club owners, celebrities and treadmill makers.

In this episode, I'll show you why cardio is crap - using science, not anecdotal nonsense and foolishness.

So listen in. You may never get on a treadmill again!

Feb 12, 201910:55
Happy Hour with Lyle McDonald - "We're all just trying to fix ourselves."

Happy Hour with Lyle McDonald - "We're all just trying to fix ourselves."

Back when the internet was powered by mice on steroids sprinting on wheels, Lyle McDonald was writing and arguing about nutrition and fitness.

In 2004, he wrote the original "A Guide to Flexible Dieting," which outlined a way to lose weight and get lean without rigid rules around food and without going insane.

He has authored 12 others, including "The Stubborn Fat Loss Solution" and "The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook."

He runs a very large and very lively Facebook group and has been known to start a few arguments.

In fact, in Lyle's own words, "you either love me or hate me. I'm very polarizing."

Lyle shares with us his views on nutrition, women's fitness, the state of the fitness profession and his incredible journey with Bipolar 2 Disorder.

You won't want to miss:

> Why being polarizing may actually lead you to success!

> Why people don't fail on diets, diets fail people!

> The 3 words Lyle likes to hear most.

> Why it's good that women's attitudes toward dieting, lifting and fitness are getting a little more like men's!

> Lyle sharing his amazing and often harrowing adventures with Bipolar 2 Disorder!

> The dangers of fitness professionals ignoring mental illness, mood disorders and stress/anxiety in their day to day interactions with clients.

And much more.

Whether you love Lyle or hate him, he's virtually impossible to ignore. Give this one a listen. I think you might learn a few things. I know I did.

As always, if you have questions, comments or thoughts feel free to reach out through the podcast page, on Twitter @philhueston or Instagram @coachphilhueston.

Links to Lyle's and other books mentioned in the podcast:

The Guide to Flexible Dieting, The Stubborn Fat Solution, The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook and The Women's Book, Vol. 1, A Guide to Nutrition, Fat Loss and Muscle Gain can all be found on Lyle's store by clicking here: Lyle McDonald Book Store

For the others, click the links below:

Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham

Feb 07, 201901:26:19
Know Stuff Episode 1 - Inversion and Eversion of the Foot

Know Stuff Episode 1 - Inversion and Eversion of the Foot

Join me as I introduce another new feature on the Four Pillar Fitness podcast - "Know Stuff!"

Quick, little snacks of knowledge about anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, fitness and nutrition intended to be both educational and fun.

Today - Inversion and eversion of the foot. 

Do you know the difference? 

If not, you're not alone. Even some physical therapists and trainers need to think twice about it.

Listen in as I review the ins and outs of inversion and eversion of the foot.

As always, your thoughts, questions and comments are welcome!

Feb 06, 201908:09
10 Reasons Why You Just Gotta Deadlift!

10 Reasons Why You Just Gotta Deadlift!

Today's episode is all about the one exercise that nobody seems to be lukewarm on - deadlifts!

Love them or hate them, they may be the most important exercise lots of people are avoiding!

Join me and find out why this loved/hated exercise is awesome for:

> Corrective exercise - everything from anterior pelvic tilt to chronic back pain!

> Injury prevention - knees, backs, hips and even shoulders!

> Helping women avoid headaches and neck pain!

> Testing your true strength!

> The booty! (No other exercise packs quite the same booty punch!)

> Improving sports and athletic movements and skills.

And a lot more. As always, your thoughts are always welcome!

Feb 04, 201913:41
Friday Happy Hour with Jana Brooke aka "The Dumbbell Bombshell!"

Friday Happy Hour with Jana Brooke aka "The Dumbbell Bombshell!"

Happy Hour Friday is back! And there may be nobody better to get them back on the map than Jana Brooke, aka "The Dumbbell Bombshell!"

Jana is a fitness professional with a great personal brand and an electrifying personality!

Check out the episode to discover:

>What Jana means when she says "when things are uncontrollable, there's always one thing you can control."

> Why personal brands are personal and that means sharing the truth that sometimes you just have to "stop and admire the pain."

> Jawzrcise! And no, it doesn't involve a shark.

> What Jana means when she says "there's life after tough choices.

> The value of people and experiences that challenge you.

> Why white Oreos matter.

You don't want to miss this one!

Feb 01, 201939:28
Research Round-up, Volume 2
Jan 30, 201913:23
5 1/2 Ways to Make Your Family Healthier

5 1/2 Ways to Make Your Family Healthier

Life moves faster and faster by the minute, or so it seems. Our families rarely get the kind of quality time we'd like to get and all too often our family's health takes a back seat to, well, just about everything.

But you can change that, and you don't have to sell everything, move "off the grid" and make your own clothes out of animal skins. In fact, you really don't have to work that hard to help your family be healthier.

Today, I'm offering 5 1/2 ways you can make your family healthier. Some of them revolve around nutrition and some around activity. In fact, there's even one you can do while watching television!

Join me for a quick, fun episode that might just help your family overcome some of the challenges of modern life and get healthier!

Jan 28, 201908:27
Research Round-Up, Volume 1
Jan 22, 201915:08
Body Image, Anxiety, Depression, Suicide. Is Your Teen "At-Risk?"

Body Image, Anxiety, Depression, Suicide. Is Your Teen "At-Risk?"

At-risk teens. You think you know what it means.

But what if it really means your kid? 

Your perfectly normal teenager may be at risk right now.

At risk for depression, anxiety, negative body image and even substance abuse or suicide.

The world is coming at your teen at an ever-increasing speed. Are they ready to handle it? Maybe, maybe not.

Listen as I expose some of the risk factors for your teen's mental and emotional health.

I also share some simple things you can do to help your teen navigate these dangerous waters and grow up happier and healthier, both emotionally and mentally.

I hope you'll listen. Our grandchildren are counting on us!

Jan 17, 201914:56
9 Science Based Reasons to Drink Coffee

9 Science Based Reasons to Drink Coffee

Coffee has been a staple of civilized food culture for hundreds of years.

From Yemeni mystics to bleary-eyed commuters, millions of people swear by it.

But should you drink it? Yes, says science!

Coffee has a wide spectrum of benefits that go beyond the caffeine buzz.

From energy, concentration and focus to preventing Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimers and Parkinsons, science is giving us ample reason to brew and enjoy our java.

Join me as I share these research-backed reasons to enjoy your cup of Joe!

Jan 07, 201911:40