How to Succeed by Getting Out of the Comfort Zone


How to Succeed by Getting Out of the Comfort Zone

In-home training was only supposed to be a side gig, like a part-time job to bring in extra money for groceries, kids stuff, and add to the family vacation fund. But in 1997, Debra Basch found herself suddenly a single mom with seven and 4-year-old daughters. She needed to turn her passion into a lucrative career. So Basch did what she swore she would never do — applied to work in a big box gym as a personal trainer, nutritionist, and group ex instructor.

Armed with her resume, a business plan, and an abundance of confidence and enthusiasm, she approached one of the largest and most successful gym chains at that time Sports Clubs of Canada. “It did not occur to me that they wouldn’t hire me. I am grateful to that Personal Training Manager who recognized that along with my education and knowledge, I had grit and a strong work ethic and wasn’t too ashamed to say, ‘please give me one month, I will have 12 clients within four weeks. I had 15, and to this day, I am still in contact with many of them.

“That was ONE of the best decisions I have ever made for my career,” Basch admits. “Another was completely pivoting my entire business to online coaching with LadytheFup 22 years later!”

Her 20+ years working in clubs won her numerous awards for client retention, satisfaction, results, and sales. She even wrote her own group training program that came with a 130-page workbook; it was wildly successful and always sold out.

What makes a top coach? Knowledge is essential, but if you cannot relate and inspire your clients to want to level up and reach their goals, then what good is it? Debra regularly draws on her experience as a life-long elite athlete. She has competed in gymnastics, field hockey, track, adventure racing, and, more recently, bodybuilding.

“I have learned that it’s more beneficial to shift your focus from wanting to “fix” the problem and put the bulk of your energy into your attitude and approach to the problem.” Basch says “Problems will always be present in our lives, so we must adjust how we deal with them, or we are wasting precious energy and time reacting poorly and then bouncing back from bad lifestyle decisions.”

Her clients appreciate her honesty, self-deprecating humour (because it isn’t rooted in low self-esteem), and life experience. “Women get a raw deal with their bodies. Forget about mixed messages in the media. I don’t give that BS any credence – no one is forcing you to follow influencers or read magazines – I am referring to that as we age, we have to shift and change our lifestyle again and again to maintain our fitness, body composition, and physique.”

Basch is an outspoken advocate for body positivity, not body acceptance. What’s the difference?

“One puts the locus of control back into the clients’ hands, and the other gives you permission to give up.” She further explains that when clients tell her they want to feel good about themselves again and no longer connect with the stranger looking back at them in the mirror, Debra validates their feelings. Every woman deserves to live and look her best life. She is adamant that mindset is critical — your beliefs shape your attitude, and your attitude affects your behaviour. “If you believe you will fail, you will,” Debra says … The body goes where the mind directs it.

“I have successfully navigated one of the most challenging times in a woman’s physical (and emotional) life – peri and post-menopause — it was not easy, and it was confusing and frustrating. I had to constantly reacquaint myself, shift everything from what I ate to how I ate to my exercise choices and stress management. The ONLY reason I have been successful and my future clients haven’t is that I developed a strong connection to my discipline and process. By being committed to my process, I will always be satisfied with my outcome.”

“Your belly fat is not the problem – your behaviour and mindset are,” Basch states. “And when you work with me, I will focus on your habits and attitude. I know when to give you a shoulder to cry on, but I am also ready to give you a kick in the ass if the situation requires it. I will always have my hands on your upper back, pushing you to be your best.”

Debra was fortunate to have a family that could afford private and club coaching as a gymnast. But she also grew up as an abused kid: emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from her father. She bounced around living in foster care and with relatives.

“But life blessed me with the tenacity and ability to dig deep and overcome. I have lived many lives, and I have never identified as a victim. And I won’t allow my clients to either.” Basch states.

If you would like to work with Debra Basch, she can be reached at or feel free to email her at and follow on IG coach_debra_basch.

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