Don’t Bully Your Coach – REPOST

personal-training-clientBefore I dive into this topic, I want to make sure that everyone understands that this is meant to be general, and is not directed at anyone in particular. But because I have had numerous conversations with other coaches and trainers recently who have described behavior in their clients which I find unacceptable, I thought this was a good topic to cover in my blog.

First of all, when you hire a coach or trainer, you are hiring that person for his or her knowledge, education and experience. When you challenge fee schedules that are in place, and expect the coach to give you bargain basement pricing just because you are short on funds, or because you don’t see why you should pay that much for someone else’s time, it is insulting to the coach. In addition, coaches and trainers are trying to run businesses and have expenses which need to be covered. I recently saw a quote on Instagram which I loved: “If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.” Please keep this in mind when you are selecting a coach, and have respect for what he or she offers.

If a coach is designing a customized plan for you, do not expect the plan to be ready within minutes. It takes time to create a customized plan for a client, so please be patient. Once you get your plan, please do not ask incessant questions, especially if they are presented in the middle of the night. Since I am a physician, I understand what it means to be on call all the time, but I will not put up with a 2 am text asking me whether it’s okay to substitute swing lunges with seated leg curls!

Another sure way to aggravate your coach is to be non-compliant, whiny, and intent on changing every aspect of a well designed plan. Why even hire a professional to help you if you are dead set on being a person who uses the word CAN’T all the time? If you trust, admire and respect your coach, then let your coach work his or her magic and help you to reach your goals. Otherwise, you are wasting both your time and energy and those of your coach. Allow your coach to guide you and be your motivator, and speak up if you are faltering in your efforts or if your self-confidence is flagging. Let your coach be truly that: a coach.

The Unmotivated Client

lazy client

If you have been working as a trainer for a while, you know that motivating some clients can be as challenging as pulling teeth. You know the type of clients I am talking about, who moan and complain about the training regimen, who lean heavily upon the phrase “I can’t”, and who make you want to rip your hair out in frustration. You became a fitness professional partially due to your passion for fitness and partially out of a deep need to inspire others and to guide them towards reaching their fitness goals, right? So why would some people resist your efforts to help them when it should be obvious that you have created a career around getting people fit? Sometimes clients can be so highly resistant that no trainer or coach will ever be able to get through to them, but sometimes the trainer may have a hand in the breakdown in communication.

One of the biggest rifts which can occur between a trainer and a client is one in which the trainer has forgotten how to relate to the average person. While a trainer’s immersion in the world of gyms and exercise equipment is a natural outgrowth of his interest in fitness, that immersion might cause him to forget somewhere along the way that fitness newbies might not understand or be able to relate to the “gym is life” mindset. Non-fitness people are often extremely intimidated by health club or gym environments for a multitude of reasons. They may find the experience of navigating through a plethora of exercise equipment completely terrifying. They may question their ability to perform exercises with the proper degree of coordination, balance and strength. Though clients hire trainers for their expertise and their ability to motivate, some of them are so reliant on their self-defeatist thoughts, simply because the pattern is familiar, that they often sabotage the trainers’ efforts. Such clients may even hold onto the notion that asking their trainers too many questions may be embarrassing, and if the trainers aren’t very perceptive, breakdowns in communication can easily occur.

The most successful trainers and coaches understand that there is a great deal of psychology behind personal training. For every gung-ho client who is ready to give 100%, there is a client who is indecisive and non-committal. You will have the best chance of building a rewarding trainer-client relationship with the latter type of client if you make an effort to address his or her concerns. Instead of focusing solely on the physical component of training, you will become far better as a trainer if you tap into the mental and spiritual components of your client’s transformation. Another important skill which you should develop is the willingness to adapt a client’s training regimen so that it accommodates any true physical limitations. If you practice a militant approach with all of your clients without taking into account valid physical restrictions, you run the risk of not only injuring your clients, but also of losing your clients’ interest and respect. Make sure to clearly define goals with your clients which are congruent with what they hope to achieve, not what you think they want to achieve.

Minimalist Footwear

minimalist footwear

Please check out my latest article for American Fitness Educators which discusses minimalist footwear! Original post can be found at:

http://www.fitnesseducators.com/blog/minimalist-footwear/

Merrell-Road-Glove-Barefoot-Shoe
Less Is More

Are there benefits to training in minimalist footwear? Studies have demonstrated that training while wearing minimalist shoes results in enhanced performance due to greater foot pliability and a closer approximation to a barefoot stance. Since our feet adjust to wearing raised heels over time, it can be incredibly challenging to keep our heels on the ground while performing exercises like deep squats. Proponents of minimalist footwear may even argue that barefoot is best for heavy weightlifting, but the risks of exposure to microbes or hazardous fragments of glass, metal, or rocks, make minimalist shoes a much more feasible choice while at the gym.

Dysfunctional movement patterns become established throughout the body over time. Conventional athletic shoes can often contribute to ankle and foot dysfunction because they inhibit natural foot action. If you don’t believe it, then try to perform some of your physical activities barefoot and see how well, or poorly, you perform. Chances are that the impaired mechanics in the feet and ankles will make it difficult at best to perform those activities. By gradually switching over to minimalist footwear, an athlete can essentially correct improper foot mechanics and optimize kinetic feedback throughout the body during movement.

Benefits Of Minimalist Shoes

Conventional athletic footwear features a cushioned heel which also can compromise power. In contrast, minimalist footwear features little to no heel, and the soles are very thin and malleable, so they allow the joints in the foot to move and adjust to weight loading movements. In addition, the heels and midfoot make solid contact with the floor, causing more activation in the glutes and hamstrings. Studies have demonstrated that people who wear minimalist footwear develop greater strength in their legs and feet, since more power is transferred from the working muscles, through the feet, and into the movement. Plyometric movements and sprint power will also be enhanced while wearing minimalist shoes.

A 2011 study by Squadrone and Gallozzi assessed the ability of experienced runners to estimate the degree of inversion, eversion, dorsiflexion, and plantarflexion, of a slope surface board placed under their right foot while standing. They found that the degree of proprioceptive feedback which subjects received while wearing Vibram Five Fingers® was much more accurate than in subjects who wore a standard running shoe. In conclusion, cushioned shoes conferred a distinct disadvantage when compared to minimalist shoes during assessment of foot position awareness.

How To Transition Into Minimalist Shoes

Anyone who is transitioning from conventional athletic shoes to minimalist footwear needs to do so gradually, since the body has to adjust to radically different proprioceptive input. There have been cases of metatarsal stress which developed after converting too quickly to minimalist shoes. However, once the transition is made, noticeable strength gains should occur. Try spending about 15 to 30 minutes, twice a day, wearing minimalist shoes around the house. After about a week or two, you can try them out at the gym one to two days a week until you become accustomed to the feel of the shoes. Be aware that your gait and foot stance will probably change as you acclimate to this type of shoe.

REFERENCES:

Squadrone R, Gallozzi C (2011) Effect of a five-toed minimal protection shoe on static and dynamic ankle position sense. J Sports Med Phys Fitness Sep;51(3): 401-8.

Competition Strong Trainer Directory

Stacey-Naito-4
Are you looking for a trainer to help you get into the best shape of your life? Please check out the NEW Competition Strong Trainer Directory, which has trainers in various locations across the U.S., Bermuda and Barbados. I am honored to be listed as one of the trainers in this directory, and am excited to watch this directory grow as more trainers and coaches are added.

Please click on this link to see my bio on this great site, and be sure to check out the other fantastic trainers listed too!

http://competitionstrong.com/trainer/stacey-naito-ca/

Don’t Bully Your Coach

personal-training-clientBefore I dive into this topic, I want to make sure that everyone understands that this is meant to be general, and is not directed at anyone in particular. But because I have had numerous conversations with other coaches and trainers recently who have described behavior in their clients which I find unacceptable, I thought this was a good topic to cover in my blog.

First of all, when you hire a coach or trainer, you are hiring that person for his or her knowledge, education and experience. When you challenge fee schedules that are in place, and expect the coach to give you bargain basement pricing just because you are short on funds, or because you don’t see why you should pay that much for someone else’s time, it is insulting to the coach. In addition, coaches and trainers are trying to run businesses and have expenses which need to be covered. I recently saw a quote on Instagram which I loved: “If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.” Please keep this in mind when you are selecting a coach, and have respect for what they offer.

If a coach is designing a customized plan for you, do not expect the plan to be ready within minutes. It takes time to create a customized plan for a client, so please be patient. Once you get your plan, please do not ask incessant questions, especially if they are presented in the middle of the night. Since I am a physician, I understand what it means to be on call all the time, but I will not put up with a 2 am text asking me whether it’s okay to substitute swing lunges with seated leg curls!

Another sure way to aggravate your coach is to be non-compliant, whiny, and intent on changing every aspect of a well designed plan. Why even hire a professional to help you if you are dead set on being a person who uses the word CAN’T all the time? If you trust, admire and respect your coach, then let your coach work his or her magic and help you to reach your goals. Otherwise, you are wasting both your time and energy and those of your coach. Allow your coach to guide you and be your motivator, and speak up if you are faltering in your efforts or if your self-confidence is flagging. Let your coach be truly that: a coach.