We had the good fortune of connecting with Elliott Schackne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elliott, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Every aspect of my approach comes from a HEALTH FOUNDATION first.
Training programs are not just “burning calories” or a collection of workouts.
Nutrition programs are not just caloric deficits or surpluses.
Every variable works together to optimize the client’s health, first and foremost.
Woven into my practice are many elements of functional medicine and naturopathy, which have informed so much of the three pillars of my practice: Training, Nutrition, Lifestyle.
Even if a client only cares about aesthetics, improving their health is going to make everything easier to achieve.
A striking Before & After picture is nice. But it’s even nicer when the client reports feeling better, increased energy, improved sleep, less pain, and resolution of health issues that had persisted for years.
As a coach, that’s the biggest win/win I can think of.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The road to my current business has been an interesting and challenging one, for sure.
Although I played sports ever since I was a kid (started tennis at 8), it never crossed my mind to pursue fitness as a career. In addition to tennis, I played a lot of basketball, football, baseball, and was in the gym lifting weights by age 15.
My academic journey led me to getting an MFA in Film Production and then heading out to LA to work as a cameraman in the film industry for almost 10 years.
As the industry changed, along with my passion for the work, I started spending more and more free time researching health, fitness, and training.
Eventually it got to the point where I realized, “I’m spending all my time focusing on this, I might as well get paid for it.”
So I retired from the film industry and started coaching full time. However, feeling like I was about a decade behind the curve of experience and education, I made sure that continuing education was always a part of my career.
I started by auditing a couple semesters at USC (unbeknownst to the school), sitting in on every anatomy/physiology/exercise science class I could. In addition, I took 1-2 certification courses each year, traveling around the country to wherever they were held, so I could learn from the best in different fields of training, nutrition, and functional medicine.
The journey has included coaching and competing in CrossFit, coaching olympic weightlifting and powerlifting, training high school and professional athletes, physique prepping bodybuilders and actors, giving nutrition lectures and seminars, advising supplement companies, and of course good ol’ fashioned personal training for average joes and janes.
The main turning point in that whole story happened about a few years into going all-in on coaching.
I had learned enough to feel like I knew everything. Clients were getting results, and I was confident I had all the solutions.
But we don’t know what we don’t know. And I started to come up against cases that didn’t respond the way I expected.
Like the end of The Truman Show, I realized there a vast world outside my bubble.
This led me to really start expanding my breadth and depth of education, and making sure the courses and certifications were at the highest level and not just for the sake of having letters after my name.
I owe so much of my current success to all my mentors along the way who helped educate me as well as keep me focused on what’s important.
A question I get asked a lot is “Do you miss the film industry?”
Answer: Absolutely not.
Everything I do now, and the way I can serve my clients, is so much more rewarding than anything I’ve previously done.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ve found some amazing places here in Orange County that simply could not exist in LA (where I lived for 10 years).
1. The Camp & The LAB in Costa Mesa
2. Fermentation Farm
3. Huntington Dog Beach
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve had so many amazing mentors along the way who have had a massive impact on me personally and professionally. A few that deserve an extra shoutout:
Dr. Michael Ruscio
Dr. Dayne Grove
Facebook: Elliott Schackne
Other: Facebook group: Leaner After 40
Lauren Hillary photography