Written By: Austin Colish
In three phrases or less, how would you describe the process of “becoming fit”?
A reasonable response would be: “proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and consistent exercise.” Without a doubt, these components are crucial to leading a healthier life. We commonly hear people say “Oh, I need to get into shape,” or “Wow, that person is really fit!” These statements often have an underlying associative feeling of guilt, stress, or even self-defeat. As a current fitness professional and future healthcare provider, I’d like to break down as many of these barriers to success as possible. Modern media, social pressures and general lack of knowledge provide an unnecessary stigma around beginning the process of “getting into shape.” In my experience, the process of “becoming fit” can be encapsulated in two words: lifestyle change.
Fitness is all about lifestyle change. There are three main components of this process:
Early Success is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a philosophy utilized by all types of coaches, teachers and therapists. Early Success is based on the idea that both performance and adherence is increased when beginners find success at whatever task they are attempting. This is a topic that has been researched by motor learning specialists, and has shown to aid in adapting the properties of neuroplasticity in our brains. Basically, the more we practice something, the better we get at it. When we start a task and succeed early on, we become more motivated to try and keep practicing. For example: when you play a game, how likely are you to keep playing that game if you lose every single time? (Probably not very.) The same goes for lifestyle change.
How do we implement Early Success into our daily lives?
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. By setting goals that fall within the SMART criteria, you are more likely to achieve Early Success. For example, if you have never run a mile in your life, do not set a goal to run three miles a week to “get into shape.” Instead, start by walking for 40 minutes a day, four days a week, outside, for two weeks. Comparing these goals: one has specific parameters within a set time frame, the other is generalized and arguably less likely to be successful with a beginner.
Failing to plan, is planning to fail.
Setting realistic goals is such a crucial part of developing any kind of fitness plan. By utilizing the SMART methodology, you can achieve any goal you have in an approachable manner. Common fitness goals are “to lose X amount of pounds.” Try breaking down the steps required into bite-sized solutions. Instead of committing to “eat healthier and exercise,” commit to “substituting Greek yogurt for ice cream, start a walking program three days a week and going to the gym two days a week.” You can then build off those three goals and make them even more specific. What kind of Greek yogurt? Where will you be taking your walks? What will you be doing at the gym? Making little changes early in this process that you can easily accomplish promotes long term development.
In healthcare and in fitness professional settings, there is a technique called the Motivational Interview. Essentially, this tool helps coaches and clinicians gauge their clients’ interest level and measure their ability to open up to change. Ultimately, “becoming fit” is just about making small lifestyle changes. In this interview, the interviewee is placed into a “stage of change” that predisposes the treatment approach the clinician or coach needs to take. Similarly, individuals can begin this process by self assessing and adapting to their own needs. Now that you have a plan, with SMART goals, you need to create an environment that helps facilitate this change (regardless of your current willingness to accept it).
Motivation is either intrinsic or extrinsic. If you are intrinsically motivated, there is a high chance you don’t need to read this post. However, if you are motivated extrinsically (I fall into this group), you have to modify your environment. In order for you to attain success early on and allow growth to be consistent, you have to change your environment as your lifestyle changes. This can take many shapes and forms — so be creative! Examples include: throwing out junk food in your house, setting a budget for how much alcohol you consume on a weekly basis, setting reminders to go to sleep on time, and surrounding yourself with a supportive gym community like we have here at King. Self reflect. Think about how you can modify your environment to meet your goals. If you have difficulty doing this, ask your coach!
Having established goals, reinvented your environment to encourage success and officially begun your own fitness journey, the last piece is to build in time to self reflect. This can come in many forms: journaling, meditating or having a weekly progress discussion with your coach. By self reflecting, this allows room for self evaluation. By reviewing your progress, challenges/barriers to success, you can self correct. Having a reference point based on your goals and identifying how your environment hurts or helps those goals, leads to self correction. Making SMART changes to your current situation can help. Part of the Motivational Mindset is committing to your goals, and finding success by the means necessary to make your goals reachable. When you are able to independently self evaluate and self correct, you can self regulate. The ultimate goal is to self regulate; making changes in the direction of your goals independently in order to be successful.
Fitness is a journey for everyone: the single mother of three, the businessman who works 60-hours/week, the professional athlete of 20 years, the sedentary teen with aspirations of running a marathon. Everyone has their own challenges, and no one is more important than the other.
Fitness does not have a gold standard. Fitness is not defined by athletic accomplishment. Fitness is not defined by physical appearance. Fitness is a culmination of trials, changes, failures and successes. By setting SMART goals, finding Early Success, maintaining a Motivational Mindset and Self Regulating, we can all become more “fit.” Whether you’re a gym veteran or someone who stumbled upon this post who has never worked out a day in their life, I encourage you to spend a few minutes today and reflect.
Where are you now and where do you want to be?
Use these tools and develop the next step in your fitness plan. Perhaps your goal is to deadlift 600lbs. Maybe your goal is to walk up two flights of stairs independently. Either way, your goals are relative to you and should be flexible enough to change or adapt over time. Seek help and advice from your coach or physical therapist. Understand that every day doesn’t need to be a victory, and that always, consistency is King.
We're finishing June's accumulation block where the theme was Escalating Density Training (EDT). For July, we're jumping into an intensification block. We'll be focusing on developing our speed, power and strength. Unique to this block, we're manipulating the rest between reps and utilizing a concept known as Cluster Training.
What is Cluster Training?
Cluster Training involves using short intra-set rest periods (usually ranging between 10-30 seconds) we will being using 15 seconds, which act to allow us to do more reps with a heavier weight.
With Cluster Training, the design is all about the rest between reps, rather than between sets.
How do you do Cluster Training?
There are a number of ways you can set up cluster training, but the most important principle of this training method lies in the short rest intervals between reps, or multiples of reps. Make sure you re-rack the bar when you rest, and utilize the entirety of the rest period - both during and after your set.
We're going to get a rep then rest. Get another rep then rest. And then get one more rep and rest. And that will make up one set. This work-to-rest program design is called intra-set rest and has a lot more rest between reps.
Why do we need more rest? Because rest allows us to lift more weight and hit higher tonnages in a training block.
What the hell is "tonnage" and why is it important?
Tonnage is a term that quantifies overall load used during a period of time.
Tonnage = Weight x Reps x Sets
Example: 100 x 10 x 10= 10,000.
Tonnage has been used for decades as a qualifier for national and international levels in weightlifting. Theoretically, if a person can accumulate a higher total of weight in a period of time, they should be able to compete at a higher level, become much stronger.
How do we manipulate sets and reps to achieve a higher overall tonnage?
We can do 10 sets of 10 to achieve more morphological changes. Like body composition or hypertrophy. Or we can utilize 10 sets of 3 reps to achieve more neuronal changes; such as, power or force production.
There is an interesting concept called Prilipen's chart which describes the volume people can hit at specific intensities in a training session, please refer to the image below:
Below are a few cluster set/rep schemes we may program for you depending on your individual goals.
Before we move onto that, it's important to note that you can utilize Cluster Training on most exercises, but seeing as we're looking for mostly strength and muscular gains, it makes sense that the best exercises to use are the bigger, compound barbell exercises.
Okay, let's look at some ways to set up your Cluster Training. The first thing you'll notice is that the sets/reps for clusters are written in a weird way. Don't freak out, they're quite easy to interpret.
5 ( 4 x 2 ) - 10s w/ a 5RM
In this set up you'll do 5 total clusters (the first number), and each cluster is going to consist of 4 mini sets of 2 reps (the bracketed numbers). You're going to rest 10 seconds in between each mini set, and you're going to use around your 5RM in load.
5 ( 3 x 3 ) - 15s w/ 6RM
Again, this follows in the process as the two examples above, except that in this set up you're going to do 3 mini sets each consisting of 3 reps, with a 6RM. This will allow you to do 9 total reps with a 6RM, and skew the training effect more towards gaining muscle mass.
"THE SPICY CLUSTER"
3-4 sets of AMRAP until you hit 15 total reps - 30s w/ 85% of 1RM
In this example you're going to find a weight that's around 85% of your 1RM, and you're going to do as many reps as possible (without going to complete failure) before racking the bar and resting for 30 seconds. After the short rest you're going to again try and get as many reps as you can, before re-racking the bar and resting for another 30 seconds. Continue in this fashion until you hit a total of 15 reps. Repeat for 3-4 total clusters. Typically you should hit anywhere from 5-8 reps in your first mini set, and then have the reps slowly decrease for each subsequent mini set.
With this data, we can formulate strategies to bang out more out of our training if:
Cluster Training allows us to push past fatigue.
Fatigue is the limiting factor when trying to hit and complete more reps. This is the basic premise as to why we cannot go on forever at a specific intensity. That fatigue could come from central nervous system (CNS) fatigue or from muscular system fatigue. Either way, we are going to have to stop at a certain point no matter how much we want to keep going, which is frustrating.
If we have 3 reps, adding more rest between reps is how we can squeeze 91% when normally we can only handle 90% for 3 sets of 3 reps.
Let's talk about Relative Intensity and see how it relates:
Believe it or not, we do not work at 100% for the entire block. We progress from 70%, 80%, 90% and finish at 100%. With 100% being your 1 rep max.
Working sub-maximally has incredible benefits.
Working sub-maximally builds motor patterns in response to the stress and begins the progressive overload over the four weeks. When we get the fourth week, we are supposed to be able to hit 90-92.5% of our max for 3 reps.
The intent is to handle higher intensities for increased volumes so we can accumulate more tonnage. If fatigue is coming from either the muscular system (replenishment of ATP/PC) or from the central nervous system (update or transmission of neurotransmitters) we can override that by allowing for rest in between sets.
Our training performance all comes down to our limiting factors. If our limiting factors are not as limiting then we can lift heavier weights than we normally can. And if we can use heavier weights than normal, we will obviously become stronger. Gainz.
We're entering an accumulation block.
What does that mean?
The goal of an Accumulation block is to use as much total energy in a session as possible. This maximum energy expenditure increases muscle tissue and fitness levels while decreasing body fat.
You might be wondering what "maximum energy expenditure" means or what it's going to feel like. It means these training sessions are going to be really f*cking hard. No exaggeration. AKA SPICY WORKOUTS.
Escalating Density Training (EDT) is a training protocol developed by Charles Staley in the early 2000s.
While most people tend to mostly look at load (weight) and volume (sets x reps), EDT manipulates density.
To be specific, the goal of EDT is to complete more sets in the same amount of time; each successive workout, you aim to achieve more work in the same time period.
How are the workouts going to be set up?
Each workout will consist of three separate series of exercises.
Series A: Main, Compound Movements (20-minute time frame)
Series B: Accessories
Series C: Core Work / Finisher
For the A series of our main, compound movements. We'll put a prescribed weight on the bar. That weight stays the same for the next 4-weeks.
Week 1, the weight should be challenging enough to get around 10 sets in 20 minutes. After that, it's all about getting as many sets as possible in 20 minutes while maintaining quality* of movement.
* A note on quality *
When we say quality, we mean maintaining great position, technique & range of motion. More work in the same time. Rather than the same work in less time. This is an improvement in overall work rate, you will become more efficient.
Each week, you should aim to increase the number of sets performed within the designated 20-minute duration.
So what does Density mean in Escalating Density Training?
What is Density?
Your training density is the work you're able to do in a given amount of time.
Training density is the amount of sets multiplied by the number of reps completed within a certain time frame.
There are two methods for increasing Density:
Method 1. Increase the amount of work in the same time frame.
Method 2. Keep your workload the same while decreasing your work time.
We're going to be increasing our training density by increasing the amount of work in the same time frame.
The changes in density caused by reducing rest but keeping volume and intensity up work like pressure changes in physics. The theory is that, all else being equal, less time with the same effort and training volume will elicit stronger signaling to the body. If the amount of rest is insufficient and intensity drops, the session is simply less effective than the original workout.
Escalating Density Training (EDT) is really f*cking hard. Here's the scientific reason why...
The burning of energy through the storage forms of carbohydrates (glycogen and glucose), fat (adipose and fatty acids) and potentially proteins (amino acids) lead to an acidic environment, or an accumulation of hydrogen at the local level. This acidity corresponds with increases in anabolism (building proteins) post-training through natural levels of growth hormone and testosterone.
The most important takeaways you need for the next 4-weeks of this strength block:
With such demanding training, our progress is exclusively determined by how well we recover from week to week. Rest and recovery are absolutely necessary.
You will not get progress in this block without the appropriate rest and regeneration. We don't advise you perform any two-a-days during this strength block because over-training will hinder your results.
Recovery is key. It's fundamental. It's essential. If you report excessively high RPEs and your workloads increase drastically - your countermeasures have to match it. If not, your progress will not occur resulting in either a plateau or possibly worse performance.
Sleep, nutrition, and regeneration are the keys to success in this strength block. They must be placed at the highest priority if you want to maximize the benefits of EDT.
Rest reduction increases fatigue and leads to technique and strength decay. Our goal is to make our clients and athletes better, not tired.
* A note on why we track your progress *
Assessing your progress week to week will be one of the core principles of our programming going forward. It's going to be the primary tool we use to assess if the load was appropriate from week to week based off how you adapt.
The term for this systematic tracking of progress and loading of the bar is called Progressive Overload.
A large misconception is that progressive overload only means increasing intensity or load. But with progressive overload, you can increase the number of sets at a specific load, you can increase the repetitions at a specific load, or in this case - you can increase the training density at a specific load.
The RPE number we will be asking you at the end of the training session is based off what our average Heart Rate was during training.
What is RPE?
RPE is short for Rate of Perceived Exertion. Based off a lot off research, RPE is a fairly accurate representation of your exertion during a training session.
If your heart rate is higher, you report a higher RPE. And vice versa - if your heart rate is lower then you report a lower RPE. Take your RPE number and multiply it by 60-minutes of activity and you can calculate a workload. So with an RPE of 5 x 60-minutes = workload of 300. Our goal is to manage that workload and tie that into a progressive overload based model.
Usually, we follow a "traditional" progression with our loading which, means we order our weeks with 70%, 80%, 90% and 100% of relative intensity.
With this block, it will be the same Relative Intensity for 4-weeks, which changes the focus from progressive increases in tensity to increases in density.
Street D, Bangsbo J, Cartsen J. Interstitial pH in human skeletal muscle during and after dynamic grade ncsf d exercise. J Physiol. 2001 Dec 15; 537(Pt 3): 993–998.
Velloso CP. Regulation of muscle mass by growth hormone and IGF-I. Br J Pharmacol. 2008 Jun; 154(3): 557–568.
Haff, G., & Triplett, N. T. (2016). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Fourth edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.nat
“RPE Scale (Rated Perceived Exertion).” The Fit Tutor, May 2019, thefittutor.com/rpe-scale/.
Valle, Carl ValleCoach. “Training Density: How to Improve It and When to Leave It Alone - SimpliFaster.” SimpliFaster Blog, 15 May 2017, simplifaster.com/articles/training-density-improve-leave-alone/.
“RPE Scale (Rated Perceived Exertion).” The Fit Tutor, May 2019, thefittutor.com/rpe-scale/.“RPE Scale (Rated Perceived Exertion).” The Fit Tutor, May 2019, thefittutor.com/rpe-scale/.
For May, we're heading back into an Intensification block, so we're going to put a hold on our "spicy" workouts."
Reminder: Intensification blocks focus on power, strength and speed. The primary focus of this strength block will be to simultaneously get everyone stronger and more explosive utilizing the complex training method.
Complexes: integrating eccentric strength training and explosive plyometrics.
Complex Training integrates strength training, plyometrics, and sometimes sport-specific movements. It consists of an intense strength exercise followed by a plyometric exercise. Strategically selecting explosive exercise to gain Post Activation Potentiation (PAP) is the driving force behind complex training.
What is Post Activation Potentiation?
The term Post Activation Potentiation (PAP) simply refers to an acute excitation of the neuromuscular system following some form of exercise (5RM Back Squat). This acute excitation has been shown to improve subsequent explosive performances such as the counter movement jump and sprint speed. The complex training method has been shown to improve jumping, sprinting, throwing, kicking and even change of direction speed performances.
Theoretical model representing the relationship between post activation potentiation (PAP) and fatigue regarding possible windows of enhanced performance
With complexes, we’re working to improve our eccentric strength and stay dynamic with explosive plyometrics.
This training is all about creating a shorter transition from the eccentric portion of a movement to the concentric portion of the movement. For this 4-week Strength block, here’s what our main movements will look like:
There is a concept in exercise physiology known as Strength Deficit. Which is the difference between concentric and eccentric strength. We are stronger eccentrically. But if we train with a concentric focus, we can close the gap. And when we decrease the gap between concentric and eccentric strength, our relative strength improves.
What is relative strength?
Relative strength is the amount of strength to body size, or how strong someone is compared to their size. This reflects a person’s ability to control or move their body through space, a vital trait in all athletics. All else being equal, smaller individuals have higher relative strength. This is why despite both athletes being in great condition, a 145-pound male with an equal absolute strength to a 180-pound male will apply greater relative forces into the ground and be able to sprint much faster .
The transition time between concentric and eccentric is also important. It impacts the force we can develop.
A faster change from eccentric to concentric yields a higher rate of force development. A more robust eccentric ability means you can generate higher concentric outputs. And as we look at strength deficit, a larger deficit means we will generate more power and be able to endure higher loads. You are about 1.5-2 times as strong eccentrically compared to concentrically. People reach their ceiling concentrically rather quickly. It is a naturally weaker contraction type. At near maximal loads, people can always lower the weight under control but will fail when they try to lift the weight concentrically.
A big reason to utilize eccentric training is this:
There is still a lot of potential energy to tap into if we shift focus from concentric to eccentric. Plus, by maintaining better positions, there is a decreased potential for injury. We have designed this training block this way because it is more sustainable, smarter, and gets a better ROI over a long-haul, especially those of you grinding through two-a-days for the #kingsistencychallenge.
Written By; Gerrick King
Let me start this off by saying these 4 reasons aren't the only reasons your training might not be progressing but for me they're the 4 most common issues that I notice.
1: PROGRAMMING AND TRACKING
This is the most common I see. Either a person isn't following a training program, they're doing somebody else's program or the wrong program for their goals, they program hop and/or don't track their training. The easiest solution for this is to find a program that's right for your goals, stick to it and track your training. The internet doesn't replace a professional.
SOLUTION: GET A TRAINER + PRACTICE CONSISTENCY.
2: DOING TOO MUCH
It is rare for me to have a lazy person come on board. Usually the person is busting their ass in the gym 6-7 days a week and frustrated they're not progressing. This lack of progression is often due to a combination of Number 1 and doing too much too soon. Working hard is awesome but it's a long run not a sprint.
SOLUTION: TAKE REST DAYS + HAVE PATIENCE.
3 - NO PROGRESSION
If we don't challenge the body the body won't change. The body adapts to the training stress put upon it so once it's adapted to that stress unless you challenge it with slightly more during a training phase it will not progress further. The easiest means of progression are to increase weight, sets or reps over the course of a training phase.
SOLUTION: UTILIZE PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD.
What is "progressive overload?"
To increase the demands on the body over time. This is necessary for continuous progression.
How can we achieve progressive overload?
- Increase Training Volume
- Increase Training Intensity
- Increase Load Lifted
- Increase Training Frequency
- Manipulating Tempo/Time Under Tension
- Manipulating Rest Periods
- Increasing Training Density
4: TECHNIQUE NEEDS WORK
Poor technique not only puts you at risk of Injury but it also limits the amount of weight you'll move compared with what you could do with proper technique. Getting this right early on in your training life and constantly refining your skill will make long term progress more likely. With technique you'll also find every lift has a weak link, if you can identify this, strengthen it through accessory work you'll be able to get that stalled lift progressing again. Don't do all the flashy shit you see on instagram.
SOLUTION: LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS.
Lucky for you, we account for all of these when we program all the workouts at King Strength and Performance!
Written By: Jason Saran
Ok. So you decided you need to make some food changes in your life. You want to start a diet, but don’ t have a clue where to begin. You’re lost. Your friends are trying to persuade you on which diet reigns king. There’s also social media, which is saturated with demonizing carbohydrates and glorifying a life full of tupperware packed meals. Sensory overload much. With all these options, how are you supposed to make an informed decision?
Let’s first establish a goal. What is it are you trying to accomplish? Is it to be overall healthier? Do you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight?
Whether you choose to eat healthy or not, all foods are looked at as an energy source for your body. Let’s call the unit of measure for energy: calories. All foods contain calories. They also contain a code that our body breaks down. We can call those macronutrients or macros for short.
Shouldn’t we always be eating healthy? In a perfect world, yes. But that’s not always the case. Let’s say for example you are trying to lose weight. Your body is going to treat 100 calories worth of banana the same as 100 calories worth of a brownie. Both are primarily carbohydrate sources, which can be used as a prime source of fuel for your body. The thing that differentiates the two are micronutrients — small compounds needed in minimum amounts to enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for healthy growth and development. I will address this more at the end of this blog.
Sure, including fruits and vegetables into your diet will inevitably bring you health benefits. However, eating clean or healthy does not always correlate with fat or weight loss for that matter. You can choose to incorporate healthy foods into your diet (which is most optimal) but changing your body composition comes down to one bottom line.
You must establish what your caloric intake is based on your goals.
We know that eating healthier will make you feel better and keep your body running at its best. The old saying, “there can be too much of a good thing” can be applied to dieting. You can eat all the healthy food you want, but without limiting the amounts of food you consume, you will never achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
In addition to setting a caloric intake, macronutrients are equally as important when it comes to changing body composition. We must monitor the amount of proteins, carbs, and fats we consume if we are concerned with gaining muscle or losing fat. A gram of protein is equivalent to 4 calories, a gram of carbohydrates is also 4 calories, and a gram of fat is equivalent to 9 . Macronutrients and calories correlate with each other.
Each macro has a set purpose. Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They rebuild the muscles you break down when you workout. Carbohydrates are typically the primary source of energy our bodies will use during intense activity. Fats help our bodies regulate our hormonal processes. By manipulating our calories and macronutrients, we can set our “diets” to help us achieve our goals. So how do we figure out what out caloric intake is?
Your macros or caloric intake are determined by your physical traits and activity level. There are many free tools such as https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/ which can help guide you in the right direction. However, to get the best results, I recommend consulting with a professional (nutritionist/dietician) or using https://www.avatarnutrition.com/ to get a fine tuned, tailored program.
After you establish what your caloric intake is, you then have to log and measure your food. This ensures that you will be eating as accurately as possible and getting optimal results. It is a bit of hard work, however this system is the most approximate tool we have. Using a food diary such as myfitnesspal will help you track and journalize your food entries. If you are eating fresh foods — you will inevitably have to weigh them. That’s right, you have to purchase a food scale as well.
This sounds like a lot of hard work. I’m not going to lie, it is. I have seen others and even myself get too obsessed with this process. To be honest with you, it is not sustainable forever.
With some years of experience doing this, I have tried and used this system to educate myself. I know how to do all of these things intuitively. I am not afraid to eat over or under my macros to enjoy myself. I don’t restrict myself when I eat at restaurants with my friends. I have simply counted my macros for so long, I know what my body needs when I have certain goals. I treated this process like school. I absorbed as much data as possible, so I could then make educated choices for my future. Without going through the process of counting, logging and measuring my foods — I would not be as knowledgeable or know how to diet intuitively.
Another issue I would like to bring up before I recap this blog is the idea that you don’t have to eat healthy. I brought up the point that your body will only see food as an energy source. That is true, however if you are not eating healthy, nutritious foods, you are doing your body a disservice.
I treat myself like I am an athlete. To perform optimally, I must fuel my body with as much micronutrients as possible. To reiterate, micronutrients are small compounds needed in minimum amounts to enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for healthy growth and development. They are essential for your body to work and function at its absolute best. Don’t deprive yourself just because you want to change the appearance of your body. You can accomplish both — changing your body composition and doing it in a healthy way. If you deprive your body of too many micro and macronutrients, it will not function properly. This is why it is smart to consult with a professional before trying.
Let’s recap everything we went over.
1. Get off social media
2. Figure out what your goal is
3. Figure out your caloric intake (macro calculator, professional, etc.)
4. Pay your dues — track, count, understand, eat HEALTHY foods
5. Do it long enough where you can ditch the process
6. Eat intuitively
I hope this blog helps you better understand the basics of nutrition. I am not a nutritionist in any sorts, but felt that I should help guide people since I have been through it already.
By: Gerrick King
In college, I thought my psychology classes were GPA boosters and I never took them seriously. Who would have thought that the information that I learned from my psychology minor would be so significant in my career.
This blog is for the personal trainers and coaches out there.
If you've been in the training game long enough you have probably figured out that every person who trains with you has their own idea on what working out is. As personal trainers, we can't make the mistake of assuming everyone wants what we want. Yes, we know they need to lift weights, eat right, and make better choices around what they do outside of the gym. This however must be applied to the person in a way that they can handle and process. Learn to adapt.
Here are a few different types of clients you will see at the gym:
Basically, clients come into the gym or all different reasons and we need to be able to recognize this and give them what they want while we give them what they need. It is more than just a workout.
At the end of the day, be nice to everyone no matter what.
This blog is for all the trainers, coaches, and professionals in our field who struggle to find new clients and/or retain the ones you already have. I genuinely hope this helps.
When it comes to training / coaching in any sense, you're going to look at the relationship you have with clients as being the foundation of anything. If that's not something you have, then it's going to be really difficult to convince them to buy into a program, or set whatever standard and expectations you have for them. You have to create a relationship with your clients so they learn to trust you and have clear communication with you.
However, that's not always the case. What looks like resistance is often a lack of understanding / clarity. It's really easy to get frustrated with clients for coming in late or not doing things the way you want them to, but again, it comes back to context. I have learned that sometimes you have to not take everything so personally and try to have an open minded perspective. You should try to understand: What scenario are they currently in? Where are they coming from? How was their day outside of the gym? If you can grasp that, then you're likely to do a better job of meeting them in the middle and setting up more realistic expectations.
The most important thing when you're trying to create client buy-in is to develop strong relationships. If a training session starts at 5:30PM and you don't get there until 5:25PM and then barely say two words to a client, how can you expect them to trust you or your program? They'll just "yes" you to death without really communicating, and then go away and do what they're already doing. Instead of trying to cram everything into a few minutes a week, I was around clients basically all day, every day. Almost too much, actually definitely too much. You need to actually give a shit. This gave me a good insight into how they were receiving my advice / coaching, what they were doing with it, and if it was actually working. You can be the most knowledgeable trainer out there with degrees and certifications but if you aren't willing to see things through the perspective of your client and get to know them then you're going to be a lousy trainer that no one wants to be around.
Respect is a two way street, if you want to get it, then you've got to give it.
As a reminder, we will be flipping our training blocks every 4 weeks.
Block #2, Accumulation