A long time ago, I realized you can’t please everyone. This can have its challenges at times, especially when you have new people walking through your door every day. I can help a lot of people, but every once in a while, I must explain to someone that our training studio isn’t a good fit for them. I learned that trying to accommodate every population and fitness goal will run both you & your staff ragged. It also effects how you train the people you strive to work with. I’ve done my best to work well with a specific niche due to this.
There is an old business exercise that centers around you creating the ideal program. To create the program, you must create this factitious client. In this exercise, my client is a 41 years old woman who wants to lose 20lbs. She has never been a member of a gym, and outside of trying a few workouts at home she got from a fitness magazine, she has never attempted much. On a scale from 1 to 10, her nutrition is a 6. She knows it’s lacking something, but just doesn’t know what. She’s intimidated to go to the local “Big box” gym in her neighborhood. She has eliminated the idea of beach vacations with her family as an option because the thought of being in a bathing suit for a week makes her cringe. She wished she could find someone at work to go with her to the gym, but none of her fellow employees exercise consistently. She feels stuck, frustrated, and doesn’t know where to start. This is who I centered my whole business around.
When creating programs for kids, you have a lot of wiggle room for error. You can do things incorrectly and the kids probably won’t experience any problems. They won’t see positive results either. When dealing with adults over 35, you must be more precise. The level of precision with your programming jumps for every 10 years of age. If I miss an assessment with someone 21 years old, and have them lift something they shouldn’t, they wake up the next day complaining they slept funny. If I miss an assessment with someone who is 51, and they lift something they shouldn’t, they’ll miss work the next day because they can’t get out of bed. I treat assessments and initial consultations very seriously because workouts should make you better, not worse.
I grew up in gyms, so I always felt comfortable in them. I remember going to my local rec center to lift at the ripe age of fifteen. I initially took my level of comfort in gyms for granted until one of my female 60-year old clients told me 10 years ago, “Doug, I feel very safe with you here”. Safe? It took me a while to grasp the fear of getting hurt and the larger fear of looking stupid that people experience. Getting someone to feel comfortable should be the 1st step for any coach. I have lectured to fellow trainers at clinics that you can be very competent on the subject matter, but if they can’t hear you over their anxiety, it falls on deaf shoulders.
My wife, son and I recently took a cooking class at William & Sonoma. Prior to cooking, the instructor taught us some basic knife skills. I have struggled in the past chopping, dicing and mincing. Not anymore. What I quickly realized something very simple for one person, can be very frustrating for another. I used to destroy avocados getting the pit out. I’m not embarrassed to admit this. Whoever knew putting a knife in the middle of the pit then turning it leaves you a perfectly looking avocado. The same could be said about watching someone foam roll. My point is that going to someone skilled can help avoid a lot of pain and suffering, and mashed avocados.
NFL Hall of Fame player, Deion Sanders, had a famous quote he said years ago. “Look good, feel good. Feel good, play good”. I couldn’t agree more. Looking good is judgmental to the eye of the beholder. The eye which we judge ourselves with can be very harsh. One of my biggest joys is helping people to like what they see in the mirror. Giving someone the tools to improve their appearance is invaluable. Watching these transformations has become part of my daily life and it motivates me to help more people. I’ve trained my team, so I could spread my reach. I guess the point of my story is that by attempting to help 1 single person, I’ve been able to affect the lives of many.
See you at the studio.