Muscle Elements Athlete Chad Moeller Lives to Motivate the Masses
FINDING HAPPINESS AND PURPOSE
In an industry where diet fads, bogus supplements, and transformation scams are the norm, it’s often difficult to distill the nonsense into factual information. Two of the telling signs a fitness professional DOES know what they’re talking about is a proven history of training people and establishing from the start that the mind is what will be responsible for any physical changes.
When Wisconsin-based certified personal trainer, author, and obstacle course racing athlete Chad Moeller works with a (non-competitive athlete) client, he starts his programming on the mental aspect of fitness.
“With middle-aged women who are struggling with their weight or just haven’t thought about themselves a lot, my methodology starts with the mind,” says Moeller. “I take them through my mindset training which is outlined in the book I wrote, and then it’s metabolic resistance training.”
Moeller contributed to the Amazon-best-selling book Health and Wellness Today released in May 2016, which ranked #1 in the “Overall” category in Germany and #2 in the “Quick Workouts” Amazon category in the US. A unique mix of spiritual and absolutely ripped, Moeller is candid about making things stick upstairs before applying principles to the gym.
“In the book, I wrote about mindset and that you can overcome anything in your life if you have that inner game established,” says Moeller. “You can change the external factors such as your gym, trainer, and macronutrients, but if you don’t change the inner game, everything external is changed and nothing internally is changed and people will fall into the same self-sabotaging behavior. They get pulled back to who they were.”
Moeller, 41, says a recent divorce was the “worst adversity in his life” and that it made him look inside himself and focus on self-improvement, personal development, mindset, and wanting to inspire others. After centering his fitness mission on mindset, Moeller contributed to the best-selling book and started trying to build a national brand, starting with Facebook, where he was torn between buying followers to appear “credible” or building a following the organic way. He went with the latter and he’s amassed nearly 30,000 likes on his Facebook page.
“The temptation to buy followers was there but when you do things the right way you get engagement,” Moeller says. “To build my following, I made a targeted Facebook ad since day one and that has helped my engagement level. I try to keep my message authentic which is everyone faces their own storm and you can use fitness as a catalyst to greatness in other areas of life.
WHO IS CHAD MOELLER?
A former DI football player at the University of Minnesota, Moeller got into the fitness industry through applying what he learned in sports to everyday life. Moeller has been a personal trainer since 1996, and holds an ISSA-personal trainer certification, an International Youth Conditioning Association instructor certification, and is a NESTA-MMA conditioning coach. The Reedsburg, WI native trains high school and collegiate athletes as well as former sedentary individuals at Shockbody Fitness, a 6,000-square foot gym equipped with 10 TRX stations, two sled stations, four battle rope stations, sledgehammers, tractor tires, kettlebells, and typical gym equipment like squat racks and cable crossover machines. Moeller currently trains some NCAA-DII athletes and has trained NCAA-DI athletes in explosive sports such as basketball, football, hockey, and baseball.
“For these athletes, the emphasis is on training the fast-twitch muscle fibers to aid in power production,” says Moeller. “I program speed, agility and quickness workouts for athletes and I do those same workouts as part of my routine.”
A large sector of his other clients are middle-aged women looking to turn their lives around and with this crowd, he does circuit training incorporating compound movements with minimal rest. The goals here are fat loss and body transformation. As many trainers are doing in today’s fitness industry, he uses obstacle course races as a platform or test to show these clients how far they’ve come mentally and in fitness. Moeller started an annual Reedsburg tradition in 2011 where he rents a tour bus and takes his clients to the local Warrior Dash each year. He’s at the finish line to congratulate them, and witnesses their emotion after tackling the challenge.
“When they complete it, a lot of them shed tears because it’s such a sense of accomplishment, Moeller says. “For them, completing an obstacle race is more about ‘Hey, I accomplished something I never thought I could’ and overcoming their fear of heights. OCRs are not about me, I do races to show the group just how far they’ve come both physically and mentally.”
One of Moeller’s more high-profile clients is BJ Ganem, a former US Marine who was serving in Iraq when his unit ran over an IED, causing him to lose his leg. Ganem now serves in the Semper Fi Fund, he’s captain of the Wounded Warrior flag football team, and he helps victims of the Boston bombing. Moeller learns more from Ganem than the other way around.
“He trains me because every time I train with him he inspires me,” says Moeller. “He gave me the acronym ONE: only now exists.”
OVER 40 AND RIPPED
While at a Warrior Dash in Wisconsin in 2015, a freelance photographer spotted Moeller out of the crowd and wanted to take some pictures of him. The photographer took some photos right there which led to a photoshoot at Powerhouse Gym in Tampa Bay, FL. The Powerhouse Gym shoot led to his current Muscle Elements sponsorship. This chain of events was largely due to the fact that Moeller is 8% body fat year-round and 6% body fat for a photo shoot. He lifts weights 5-6 days a week, does high intensity interval training and steady-state cardio, although he believes an active lifestyle is low intensity cardio.
“Steady state cardio should just be a part of life and I like to start my morning with a 20-minute run which I call time to clear my head and be grateful for what I have in life,” Moeller says. “As for HIIT, in the summer I four sessions a week but with winter coming up, I’ll just do it twice a week.”
Moeller’s strength training also varies with the seasons as he programs strength phases during the winter aiming for a 3RM and the summer is more hypertrophy, in the 8-12 rep range. He splits up his body into parts to train them so combined with the interval training, he’s pushing his limits.
“I try to defy my age and be a high-performance machine,” says Moeller. “I train like I was in college, doing the 4-foot box jump and other football drills.”
Like his clients, Moeller’s physical tests are OCRS, and he’s ran a Spartan Race (Miller Park Stadium Sprint), Tough Mudder and six Warrior Dashes. Overall, the fitness model stays two weeks away from photoshoot shape throughout the year, utilizing carb-cycling to adjust his appearance as needed.
ONLY THE BEGINNING
Despite having helped people improve their lives for 20 years, Moeller says this is just the beginning of his inspiration journey.
“Despite what is going on around us, we all have the ability to handle a situation by becoming the best version of ourselves through fitness, which carries over into relationships, careers and life,” Moeller says. “Helping people has been awesome and exciting and I’m still emerging.”