Ok so this week I celebrated six whole years of owning my little personal training company: EDMFitness (woohoo through your protein shake in the air, not quite).
I wanted to write a real quick blog for you guys on the top 6 things that I’ve seen over the past 6 years that has made clients achieve their goals and make progress quicker than others.
So let’s dive right in:
- They listen with an open mind. At the end of the day when a client goes to a trainer it is essentially to pay them to reveal all of their knowledge, share their expertise, provide a comfortable, secure and motivating environment for them to train in and to be there to confide in (because let’s face it, we all have issues we could do with telling people). In my entire career of training people I’ve actually met very few people who come with a “I know it all attitude” (usually it’s the PT’s who are like this) but I have met a few. These people failed, because they didn’t want to listen. If you are paying good money to have somebody essentially tell you how to improve then usually the ones who do best are the ones who take things on board, question them in a bid to learn and try hard to implement them into action – not just argue because they believe it’s their slow metabolism or whatever was on lose women and not the fact they eat 3 packs of biscuits a week and drink a bottle of wine every other night.
- Clients who are accountable for their actions. This means that they keep in touch throughout the week and don’t hide from one session to the next. I run a free Facebook group for my clients, they have 24/7 access to me via this and email etc and they have a weekly form they can use to check in with. The type of client who makes progress makes use of all available resources and doesn’t simply turn up for their 1 hour session and go AWOL for the next 167 hours. It is MUCH better for a client to message me and say, “Ed, I’ve just binged on this and this, how do you think I negate this and have a positive weekend” rather than just stay silent and wallow into their dominos pizza in self-pity.
- They put things into ACTION. They try new things. That’s what they’re hear for right? To be given new ways to reach their goals and to enhance methods that they may be struggling with? To provide different options for them to reach a goal in the easiest and most simple way possible? “Hey Gaynor, I think that if you skip breakfast then having a few beers in the evening may not do so much damage to your total daily calorie intake and you’ll probably still lose weight”. So Gaynor gives her usual 3-400 calorie breakfast a miss, enjoys her two beers with her dinner and doesn’t go over her calories for the day. Or for example – “Hey John, that HIIT dvd you’ve been doing is clearly playing havoc with your knees, all that jumping up and down without building a sold base of strength first isn’t going to do you much good long term, why don’t we get you booked into yoga and work on your strength in the weights area first?”. And hey ho, the knee pain goes away and goals are brought forward not pushed back. “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got” or whatever the quote is, you get the picture. If what you’re doing isn’t making you lose weight or getting you bigger biceps then perhaps it’s time to take on some advice and action that new advice.
- They realise they are not a special little snowflake (Thanks to Gordon Greenhorn for this analogy). They understand that 99.9% of the time that it’s not their slow metabolism holding them back, or the fact they eat gluten, or don’t drink 2 litres of purified lemon water, or haven’t rubbed coconut oil on their belly’s 3 days a week (I made that last one up please don’t start doing it) and they realise that it’s the most boring equation in the world that’s holding them back: Calories in vs Calories out. Now, in saying that, the human body and human brain are much more complex than just saying “don’t eat so much, move more” and watching the fat literally melt off them. It’s a TOUGH thing losing weight, dieting is HARD, it’s a fairly long arduous process and can be very challenging at times. But in saying all of that, it still boils down to the basics. My job is to help the client reach their goals safely, efficiently and to guide them when progress slows or fall off tracks. The clients job is to understand they are not a special little snowflake and with a bit of elbow grease and consistency they will make fantastic progress.
- Clients who set aside time in their diary for themselves, their health and fitness, do better than those who wing it. These days everybody is in a rush, everybody wants it now, nobody wants to wait or sit still and yet I see so many people who would do infinitely better if they just paid more attention to themselves in their diary like they do others or their work. You put your Thursday 12pm work meeting in your diary so why not put your 6pm Monday night gym session in there? You block out 2 hours on a Sunday night to watch soaps and Netflix but you can’t block out half an hour to batch cook some healthy meals for the week ahead? You rush around on a Monday evening dropping the kids off to after school clubs, you hurry home to make dinner, you do the ironing before bed and you wake up exhausted – perhaps you deserve an hour of the week where you block it out and do something for you, to enhance your happiness, to help you relax, to make progress – time that is simply your own. Maybe you just want to go for a walk, do yoga, whatever, but being more organised with all aspects of life means more free time to do as you please. It also means that picking a bad food choice when you’re rushing at lunch becomes less frequent because you’ve already got your healthy food with you at work. It also means you get to go to the gym and take care of your own health.
- They see exercise as something that yes you must do, but as an enjoyable and challenging process, not a chore and punishment. Being fit and healthy or at least trying to be should never be associated with punishment. Stop looking at food’s as good and bad, stop thinking you are “cheating” on your diet, stop worrying about what others think of you and enjoy the journey that you are on. Watching clients do things they never thought possible – pull ups, get out of bed without back pain, run a 5k – these are all amazing things and being able to enjoy the process despite it being hard work is crucial to success. If you view exercise as punishment for eating too much then you will forever be viewing things negatively. Embrace being healthy as having respect for yourself and that challenge and change is a good thing. Clients who want to have fun whilst working hard to be the best version of themselves do better than those who turn up and moan the second they get through the door that they’ve got to do some work.
Hopefully many of you reading this will share these traits and I’m sure you do. If you don’t, what do you find difficult about reaching your goals ?
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Thanks for reading,