Some working psychology for the fitness professional.
Some trainers are excited to share their knowledge and want to impress their clients with all of their fitness wisdom, but be careful not to fall into the habit of rattling off facts and statistics or using industry-specific terminology. Clients may feel overwhelmed, stupid, or preached at- and will probably not stick around for long.
You will want to provide your client with relevant information in small doses. Too much information at once (information overload) is confusing and overwhelming. Burdening your client with information he or she doesn't need at the moment can have a reverse effect. Instead of feeling motivated, he or she may feel inadequate and exhausted. (Yes, thinking takes energy!)
Our ultimate goal as fitness professionals is to help our clients succeed. That is something we cannot do if they don’t stay around beyond one session. So, how do we get clients to stick around long enough to be successful, and to be successful enough for them to want to tell their friends about us?
Successful people own their decisions, behavior, and the outcomes of those decisions and behaviors. People own what they help create. If you want your clients to own their fitness plan, and the resultant outcomes of their implementations, make sure they are a part of the creation process. You can do this by helping your clients learn.
Helping them learn is different from teaching them. Teaching implies that they do not know something and need to be told what to do. 'Helping them learn' implies that they know it already, or have the capacity to know it very soon; you just help them realize this.
This, my friend, is empowerment.
Be Proactive in helping your clients to connect the dots on their own. If they ask a question, or if you see a "teachable moment," ask one of the following questions to get the wheels a'turnin':
“What muscles do you feel working?”
“When do you think is the best time to breathe out?”
”Which do you think is best?”
“Why do you think I said that?”
Of course, you don’t want to always answer a question with a question, as that can get annoying. However, most people would agree that the best way to learn is to figure something out for one’s self, so ask away and guide your client toward the answer when they need help.
Another way to promote independence and success is to give your client the authority to set and modify goals. While you may know that your client can lose more than 1% of body fat in 6 weeks, allow her to discover this as she reaches her goal ahead of time and modifies the goal for the next body composition check. The more the client is involved in designing her fitness plan, the more responsibility she will take in implementing it.
You will be a more effective and successful trainer/coach if you allow your clients the benefit of ‘putting two and two together’ and finding the answers on their own. Not only will this help them to remember the information, it will boost their confidence and self-esteem, prompting them to reach for bigger goals.
Imagine the empowerment they feel when they are the ones who figured out the benefit of using a stability ball, the reason why they need to eat breakfast, or the exercises to do to target a certain muscle. Little boosts like this at each session will keep your client inspired, motivated, and looking forward to the next appointment.
Photo credit: pixabay
Content credit: From my olden days of fitness training and creating a fitness manual.
fitness, weight loss, success, tips
I knew it was time. I was stuck in several areas: fat loss, strength at the gym, low energy level, and a yuck mood. I had already increased my water intake and picked up a daily vitamin taking habit. I alternated cardio and weights and got enough sleep (most of the time).
There was nothing left to do but sugar detox.
Now, I loooooooooove chocolate. I consider it an essential of life. Like air. As such, I’ve been a generous consumer of chocolate for a long while. I knew this was gonna hurt. I braced myself for painful writhing on the floor, crying, sweating, begging for mercy in a fetal position. Even the thought was horrible. I wouldn’t survive.
Then, I changed my mind: I wasn’t going to tough it out. I was going to use this as an opportunity for growth. I would embrace my struggle. I would choose to make this a positive experience- painful withdrawal or otherwise.
The first two weeks were filled with mild headaches, irritable mood and cravings. Did I mention this was right before that day when half of America hands out candy to little superheroes and princesses? Did I mention we have a Costco membership? Did I mention that we bought TWO GIANT BAGS OF CHOCOLATE there?
Lots of cravings.
Nevertheless, I was able to make it through 21 days of sugar detox with those stupid jumbo variety packs of mini- M&Ms, Twix and Snickers staring me in the face.
I chose to use my replacement behavior ideology and do other things besides think about my cravings. I prayed, blasted worship music, did deep breathing, worked on the Mermaid room and super-cheap bathroom makeover, swished with Listerine, and chewed sugar-free minty gum.
My efforts paid off: I felt great! I had energy and the mental fog was gone. I slept better. I even lost five pounds without putting in any other effort (no extra gym stuff or anything). Five pounds in three weeks is actually pretty noticeable, by the way. Wait. How much was I eat … never mind. That’s embarrassing.
Then our annual trip to Apple Hill happened. A hot, fresh apple donut happened. Half of a giant yummy, gooey apple fritter happened. Amazing happiness happened. Now I get why they call sugar a drug.
Crap. Did I just ruin all my work?
Annnnndddd… then……. the next morning. What is this?! A hangover? Headache; sluggish; heavy; overall feeling of …. ewwww.
Lesson learned. Damn you, sugar!
Since then, I have been able to make brownies for a friend and NOT lick the bowl, pass by the birthday party cupcake tray, drive right by Krispy Kreme with no double takes, and stay away from my kid’s bag o’plenty October 31 candy. (Detoxing that little one is to come, don’t you worry.)
My pick-me-up as of late has been carrots and hummus or grilled chicken. 26 days ago, that didn’t sound very appetizing. Thankfully, our taste buds adapt, and our bodies respond well to proper treatment.
Are you up for the Sugar Detox Challenge? Just 21 days is all it takes to feel the difference. Your body will thank you for it.
November 20, 2017 update- still no sugar and I've also reduced my bread intake down to about 25% of what it was. I have lost two more pounds and still feel great!
May 18, 2018 update- (I promise I won't update forever.) Still going strong! I lost a total of 22 pounds and have been able to increase my effort at the gym. It's not even an issue now. Just a way of life. :)
Happy and healthy living friends- M
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Sugar dextox, fitness
For reasons that at first appeared completely valid, but turned out to be non-existent, I spent a great deal of time being extremely frugal. Excessively so. So dang careful about my finances that I refused to buy new running shoes, even when it was beyond time to replace them.
Back in the day, I had two or three in-good-condition pairs that I rotated. (Like you are supposed to do.) But, times change and financial statuses change. I was on a budget. I had a savings. I had goals and plans. No room for frivolous expenses. I was going to buckle down, suck it up, make it happen.
“I don’t really run that much.” “I don’t work out that hard.” “They’ve still got some wear left in them.” I told myself anything to rationalize my buying choice-- or lack thereof.
Then it happened- the smack-back; the consequences of failing to do what was right. Pain of all sorts: foot, ankle, knee, back… and shin splints to boot. I mean hard-to-walk pain. Pushing the workout shoes a bit further became no workout at all. Talk about a backfire.
While I was resting my aching body, I found a great deal online (thanks REI). Aren’t they beautiful?! And, I resolved to never be so stupid (or overly frugal) again. I mean, I preach about self-care allllll the time. And there I was: guilty of the opposite- even though I told myself I was simply being financially disciplined. (Can you say 'rationalization' ?)
So now, let these beautiful orange and pink shoes (and my unnecessary pain) be a symbol of balance, moderation and overall common sense. What self-care item have you been putting off?
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog