Saturday, June 30, 2012

MENTORS MATTER: ESPECIALLY IN PERSONAL TRAINING


I recently had a conversation with a young Personal Trainer who was clearly filled with passion and enthusiasm for his new career.


Having been there, I saw immediately the pitfall he was heading towards. 

Excitement is noble and helps a Fitness professional remain committed to those we serve. But when it is racked by inexperience , and not tempered through guidance... there's little chance of avoiding common mistakes.

Here's how to offer a hand to young trainers...without the hand holding.


By definition personal training is just that... "personal".

LOST CONNECTION. (try again)


Often we have goals for clients or ideas for potential clients to be; but something happens along the way. A disconnect. In essence communication fails at a basic level when what a client wants is distant from our expectation of what they might accomplish.

Often, all it takes is someone with experience (a guiding voice of reason) to pull them out of the fog and draw them back in tune with the client. Most times, it just requires someone to ask a question or point out the obvious. That's it. Problem solved.

The information we possess, the pitfalls and mistakes we've made should not be covered in ego. They should be shared with those who may choose to do the same one day. It's about sharing and educating those that are following in our footsteps! 

Much of the reason and the drive for creating FEI comes from this simple notion. FEI is my "give back". This is my way of directly, indirectly or sort of indirectly challenging, changing and refocusing our future in the industry.

I'm thankful to those who did that for me, and I am honored to do it for those who I encounter. 

THE CONVERSATION


Those trainers who have mentored will undoubtedly find the following conversation familiar. Many of the conversations you have will begin similarly Read it for reference or as a guide, but be sure to read it and be prepared when you encounter the same behavior. It will be your chance and your time to decide whether to give back then and there. And if not then, maybe another time.

Trainer
i just met with my newest client middle aged he is extremely overweight and i need a good 3 day program for him. i have been looking at work on the programs but the thing is he had a hip replacement.  I have his diet down

David Bluman
ok, how far along is he in his rehab?

Trainer
rehab is done and over with

David Bluman
what's his range of motion, or limitations

Trainer
not to sure yet i have the assessment booked on monday he can't run though that is my biggest problem.  i am going to do functional training

David Bluman
why is that a problem? as far as training goes?  Do you make all your clients run?

Trainer
well I like my clients being able to run.  i don't make them all run.  if they can't run i do alot of interval training

David Bluman
ok so don't take this the wrong way but lose that thinking. It's not about what you want for them. It's what's best for them.

Trainer
true.  what would you recommend for a 45-55 yr old man who is over weight

David Bluman
For instance I don't run. I can run. Do you have a copy of your assessment for me to review a blank one? I want to see what you are asking, what your process is. I don't have enough info about him to offer guidance. More importantly, do you know what you need to know to properly program for him. Everything starts with gathering information

Trainer
you think trx training will be effective

David Bluman
eventually yes.  Or maybe not.  but you have to be patient and think methodically before you get him there

Trainer
OK, for now i'll stick to basics until I know more.


WHY MENTORING MATTERS

I see this and so many other things in our industry every day. His trainer, like so many, mentions he "has his diet down". EVEN after the point where he knew that gathering information and sticking to the basics first was the key, he JUMPED to TRX Training! 

We have so many great toys and tools in our industry and there's so much "popular" thought (not always correct information out there). It's EASY to lose sight of what's BEST FOR THE CLIENT.

Our own passion and excitement, our own story, our own enthusiasm sometimes blinds us to the simple truth.

I am a caregiver, a health provider and I am entrusted with doing the "RIGHT" thing for this person who has trusted me with their most precious commodity! Their body and their health!

It IS my responsibility to share this with our INDUSTRY and to REMIND even the most SEASONED veterans not to lose sight of these very simple MOST important facts.

MOST important is that we SHARE these simple truths and messages and continually as a community reinforce them. We must bring consistency to inconsistency and knowledge and experience NEED to be shared.

Sharing doesn't diminish us or take away anything proprietary. It enhances us! For me this was cathartic! That trainer, that client, his business will only benefit which in turn will only benefit me, my business and my being!

This is why I AM always open to learn and always willing to share!

(PS "Trainer" you know who you are and keep the passion and enthusiasm! It's contagious! My door and mind are always open!)

CEO and Founder
Fitness Education Institute

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