Friday, June 3, 2011

What Would a Smart Exerciser Do?

Every personal trainer, heck, probably every one in every industry and field of endeavor has a memorable encounter with a customer or client, a favorite question they've been asked.  I recently watched a Pecha Kucha Night presentation entitled, "My Worst Client Ever."  I honestly didn't think it was that bad... I mean, the guy got paid, so hopefully for him that really IS the worst ever.  But I'm not talking about the worst ever, I'm referring to a moment that gives you pause and makes you think.  Perhaps chuckle a little.

(If Pecha Kucha Night is a mystery to you, google it, get to one or get one started, it's truly a happening.)

Here's Trainer Jane's favorite question from the month of May 2011, which I have shared repeatedly with clients and friends:

Q:  "Do you think I'm smart enough to do this exercise routine?"

A:  "OF COURSE you're smart enough, everybody is smart enough to do this.  I'm not sure, however, that smarts have anything to do with whether or not you WILL do it."

So think it over.  You can't remember the exercises?  Maybe you receive a written explanation, a chart, a series of illustrations to show you.  Travelling frequently over the next several weeks and lacking gym access?  Here's your tubing of various resistance levels, your TRX suspension trainer, your door strap attachment, your packable water-filled weights, your portable Stick for myofascial release, your stretch strap, your DVD.  We practice with the new tools before you leave, and...

...there you have it.  All bases covered, you've got the goods, now get moving.  Keep with your planned frequency.  You're good enough, you're smart enough, and darn it, people like you.  (Thanks, Stuart Smalley.) 

Trainer Jane texts/calls/emails you: Q:  "How's it going?"  A:  Um, ok.  I haven't done anything since we got together.

Q:  So when shall we get together again?  A:  Do you think we should?

Well, let me see.  Have you progressed since last we met?  Nope.  Do you need positive reinforcement of the value of the exercises we have chose? Yep.  Do we need to work together to simplify or amplify or in some way make it more likely that you will take up these exercises on your own and benefit from your investment? Yep.  The chips are stacked high on the side of getting together.

Personal trainers exist because people know what to do but yet don't do it.  You need more than information.  It's the focus, the support, the guidance, the recognition of progressions and regressions and what to do about them, the accountability which makes a trainer valuable.  I can't tell you how many times I toss aside my training plan for a client's session after s/he walks in with COMPLETELY different issues and movement patterns than s/he carried around previously.  "We are going to work with the body you brought in with you today," I say. 

Even trainers use trainers, sometimes for new ideas to push beyond plateaus, or for specialized training in disciplines outside their usual expertise.

Q:  Alright, I can see you Wednesday.
A:  Now that's smart talking.  How's about 10 o'clock?


Be Well!

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