Don’t Be Too Pure

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After spending a great weekend with Martin Rooney, this was one of a few things that really resonated with me. He brought up the concept of being so pure with what we do as fitness professionals that we lose touch of the actual client. This is something that I can say without doubt that I have been guilty of in the past, and working with a number of other fit pro’s, see it all too often.

So ask yourself the question, are you too pure with what you do with your clients? Now you might be thinking what the heck is he talking about? And all this means is don’t let what you think is the scientifically proven “best” thing for your client get in the way of what might be the best thing for your client on a given day. That may mean that sometimes you might want to pick an exercise for the simple reason that your client loves it. Or completely scrap the periodised program for today, for a bit of an impromptu fun to lift your client’s spirits.

One thing that can often get lost in the world of fitness is the fact that it is part science and part art. And if you’re only looking after one side, you’re doing a disservice to your clients. This is the exact reason why you’ve seen trainers who have lots of clients, yet don’t really know how to coach a squat properly or put together a solid program. But you’ll also see the most technically sound trainer who would be able to tell you, to the degree, how much lumbar flexion every one of their clients has during a squat, struggle to get clients.

It’s because these trainers are only focused on the art or the science of being a trainer. Do you think telling your client not to go to Zumba once a week because she loves it, is really helping her? Last time I checked moving around, getting a sweat up and laughing are all good things. Would that same client benefit from doing a couple of resistance training sessions each week too? Damn right, but if you’re the trainer telling her she can’t do Zumba, you’re probably not going to be able to help her see the benefit of weight training long term.

So don’t be so pure that you remove all the fun from your clients training. If you take a step back and realise without the enjoyment that is associated with exercise, your clients may not stick with their training very long. Because when you think about what we are actually asking our clients to do, we seem crazy. Come in, do a bunch of hard work that’s going to make it hard to lift your hands over your head and wash your hair. Oh, and you might have a hard time getting back up off the toilet.

Train smart, but don’t be so pure and forget exercise is fun.