Alex Folacci reveals how he has been successful across different industries. You’ll hear some rare insights of what an athlete should do once they retire, and why you should start your own business.
Alex Folacci was the National Champion of France in the Decathlon in 2011 & 2013. Despite being one of the shortest decathletes in the world (1.75m) he was also one of the most explosive.
Alex moved to New York City in 2014 to complete his Master’s degree and to prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Unfortunately, he broke his spine in 2015 and almost ended up in a wheelchair. Alex had to retire from Track & Field, and used his skills to become a successful Entrepreneur.
Alex, you have been elected the best personal trainer in NYC, how did that happen?
Hello Janek, thanks for granting me this interview for Decathlon 2000! In New York there are about 8,000 Trainers, and most of them are specialized in 1 method (Yoga, Running, Bodybuilding,...) and they have never been a high level athlete in anything. They also have more often than not, a 4 week online certification that really doesn’t mean much. I have noticed very often that they don’t really care about their clients and don’t create personal relationships with them.
Sports and training have been my whole life! I have trained under the best coaches in my country since I was 14, and I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Exercise Science.
Decathletes are known to be the greatest athletes amongst every sport. But as you can see in the video above where I run against cars in New York, I can do high level gymnastics, weightlifting, crossfit, and martial arts!
I have always been obsessed with improving my body and my performances all the time, and as a trainer, I use the same mentality to help my clients. When I started to coach people I wanted to become the best trainer in New York City. I always want to reach the top 0.01% in everything I do!
I take my job very seriously and I really love my clients. I am very professional and never cancel a session. I have coached more than 240 clients in Manhattan since 2015. I also guarantee you that 100% of my clients reach their goals, even the ones that I coach remotely on my Online Gentlemen’s Training Program.
What other advice can you give to someone trying to get in shape?
As I always tell my clients, what matters is what they do outside of the gym for the remaining 165h of the week. Do they eat right? Sleep enough? Drink too much alcohol? Stay stress free from work? Stretch and put ice to recover faster? I try to educate them so they really change their lifestyle and can see a deep transformation of their body and their health.
All these methods and my work ethic helped me become the best personal trainer in NYC!
I’ve decided to really specialize in the niche of gentlemen over 35 years old, working long hours at the office, slightly overweight, wanting to build natural muscle, improve their posture, strength, stamina, diet, and overall lifestyle. I’ve created a system that allows me to coach people everywhere in the world!
It is called the Gentleman’s Training Program which allows me to send private workouts online. I only have 5 star reviews and 100% satisfaction rate, which is very hard to achieve for any business. I get on the phone with gentlemen interested to join and make a 16 week tailored plan for their body type, goals, and fitness level. Email me at email@example.com if you’re interested!
What do you make your clients do in the gym?
I believe in mixing a lot of different training methods to get the best out of everything. So a typical program that can work for pretty much anyone is mixing bodybuilding with powerlifting, adding some Crossfit to boost conditioning and metabolism, then including some cardio and sprints, improving posture and range of motion with lots of stretching and mobility work, and building strong core.
All my clients reduce their body fat significantly while increasing their muscle density and muscle definition. Their posture and heart capacity also dramatically improve. For example, I have 2 main goals for the gentlemen that I coach:
1) Be able to bench press your own body weight.
Ex: Albert was 267 lbs and could bench 125 lbs on the first session. After 1 year he lost 45 lbs (222 lbs) and could bench 225 lbs!
2) Run a Mile (1,609m) under 7min on the treadmill.
Ex: Most guys when they start training with me can do 8”30-10min on the Mile. After 3-6 months they can do 6”30-7”30! My fastest client did 5”39 and maybe 10 others did below 6”00.
A lot of athletes struggle to find a job and make money after their career, what would you advise them?
This is true Janek, I’ve witnessed so many talented athletes be lost after retiring from track. Obviously having a college degree is a good idea, but to really succeed and have an exciting life, you need to be an Entrepreneur and create your own business!
All you have to do is learn on your own, read books, watch YouTube, try different businesses such as online sales, flipping houses, coaching, renting bikes in the park, trading stocks, dog sitting...
When you are on a salary, you are limited to the same amount each month and you will have to pay high taxes. When you are an Entrepreneur and create your own business and your own products, you can make less money than a salary for the first few months or even few years, but once you finally break through, you can make 10 times or even 100 times more than if you were working for someone else.
There are so many ways to make money on your own, but you need to study and find a mentor that can help you get where you want to be. For example when I created RAPIDE Fitness Equipment & Apparel and designed 10 products for my collection, I found a guy that was selling big numbers on Amazon. I offered to coach him for free in exchange for his mentorship and his help setting up my online sales platform. You need to give in order to receive!
Find what you can offer, and as an athlete, we have very high knowledge in training, diet, recovery, etc. that a lot of people would be very interested in. Offer this skill in exchange for the mentorship from an expert in the industry you want to be successful in.
You know, being an Entrepreneur is similar to being a decathlete. You need to be good at everything. You need to be a good salesman, understand marketing & advertising, have good customer service, know how to design and create products to sale, manage cash flow, manage stocks and inventory, negotiate with your factory,...
Tell us more about the brand of fitness equipment that you created!
It has always been my dream to create my own brand of fitness equipment! It has been a lot of work, many nights working until 3am.
I’ve created RAPIDE for Track & Field, Crossfit, and Weightlifting athletes. I’ve designed my products using my knowledge as an athlete and trainer to make the most aesthetic and functional products. The quality of my products is actually better than Nike and other big brands, and I know that it is a bold claim!
I’ve sold more than 10,000 jump ropes in the USA.
Now I am more focusing on selling big quantities to stores and gyms, instead of doing individual sales on my website. RAPIDE website: https://rapidefitnessequipment.com/
What is your secret for being successful in everything you do?
I’m successful because I’m addicted to success! I need to constantly improve myself and develop new skills. If I don’t work for 1 day, I feel like I’ve really wasted my day and get almost a little depressed. I make myself feel bad about it.
But my real secret is that I am obsessed with numbers and performances. First, I look up to someone very successful in Track & Field, or in Business, then I study their performances, and set my eyes on reaching those numbers until I achieve them and become better than this person. Then I find an other high performer, and repeat the process! This concept literally helped me achieve anything I wanted in life.
Are you planning to get back to the Decathlon one day?
The last Decathlon I did was in 2013. I then had my back injury and started to work and develop my businesses. Coaching people actually made me stronger in weightlifting because I lift more often, and also more flexible because I stretch with my clients everyday. I also have better knowledge about nutrition and what I have to eat to perform well and have energy.
This winter I did some good performances and even smashed my PBs in the Shot Put and Discus. I am planning to qualify for the USA Championships in 2020!
When I was competing (2008-2013) I used to eat garbage and was always under 8% body fat. I wasn’t realizing that I had a low energy level and was getting lots of tendinitis because of toxin from the junk food. My diet was mostly chocolate, cheese, Coca-Cola, fast food, and 0 vegetables. Now I try to never eat processed food, I stay away from sugar, I eat a little bit more green, I cut off the Coca-Cola, eat lots of chicken, stay away from red meat, and even take some natural supplements like Spirulina.
What do you think about your compatriot Kevin Mayer?
We used to be good friends when we were younger, and here is a picture from the National Championship in 2008 where he finished 2nd and me 3rd. Jeremy Lelièvre won that day with 7200 for U18 category.
I think Kevin trains incredibly smart and knows how to optimize his body during the most important competition of the year. No other athletes in the world have the same mental strength. He truly is the best athlete on the planet, even in all sports, but people don’t even realize it...
I think he will score an easy 8750 pts in the Decastar this year, then win the World Championship in Doha with more than 9000 pts. For the Tokyo Olympics 2020, he will win with around 9200 and will get the WR around 9350 pts in his lifetime.
Thanks so much Janek for giving me the opportunity to answer your questions for Decathlon 2000 - the number 1 website in the world for Track & Field Decathlon!