Wednesday, 3 May 2017

My Job - The 'Entertrainer'

Without the mind getting in the way, exercise, and the process of becoming fitter and stronger is fundamentally very simple.

Over the years those clever clog scientists have done enough research to know what generally works for the majority of the population. We know the basics around what we need to do more of and what we need to limit. However, if you've been living in a cave or would like a quick refresher on some of the simple principles that I teach, here, in no particular order, are a few tips to get you started on a generally healthy lifestyle:

1) Limit refined sugar
2) Eat LOTS of fresh fruit and veg
3) Don't be afraid of fats such as grass-fed butter, good quality olive oil, avocados and nuts
4) Never cook with vegetable oils
5) Maintain low level physical activity throughout the day
6) Lift heavy at least once a week
7) Don't smoke
8) Get at least 20 mins sun exposure on bare skin each day
9) Prioritise big movements and muscle groups at the gym
10) Don't neglect your core
11) Eat oily fish at least 3 times per week
12) Stretch post exercise to help reduce soreness
13) Prepare your meals for work in advance
14) Eat protein with every meal
15) Aim to get 7.5-9 hours of solid sleep per night

Now, I appreciate that some of the above you might not always do but I'm banking on you having heard of and hopefully agreeing with at least 90% of them.

With that said, ask yourself this question...

'Why, knowing what I know, do I continue to make choices that don't enable me to work towards my health & fitness goals?'

I guess that's where I come in. As a Trainer it's my job to tease some of those tough answers out of you. It's down to me to ask the questions and move you into a mindset where your goals become clearer, more defined and ultimately more attainable.

I've been thinking recently about the role of a Personal Trainer. On the face of it you'd be forgiven to assume that it's all about simply providing the information and the occasional beasting at the gym. Unfortunately it's a lot more complicated than that, which is where many PT's, myself included, have fallen down in the past.

You can be the most knowledgeable Personal Training client on the face of the Earth but if you lack one basic thing, all of that information is worth diddly-squat. And that thing is ADHERENCE.

Adherence means 'sticking to it' - many of us are resistant to adhering to the advice given around our health and wellbeing. There are always excuses to be made and distractions along the way. And that makes the job of the Trainer so challenging.

I once heard someone describe the job of a Personal Trainer as an 'Entertrainer'. I can totally relate to this concept and find myself playing that role on a daily basis.

An Entertrainer has to juggle, act and invent. We have to give our clients exactly what they want, dressed up in what they actually need. For example, I could very easily write an effective training plan for someone who wants to lose weight and 'tone up'. This plan would include exercises such as heavy Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Presses. It would include sets of high intensity Sprints and lots of assisted stretching. The plan could have the potential to be modified only slightly on a periodic basis but give results that go on for months, if not years.

The problem here is that the average Personal Training client wants more than that; they don't just want to be trained, they also want to be entertained, which to an extent I understand, training is often done in your spare time and you don't want to spend it doing something boring, but equally, reaching big fitness goals is hard work. The majority of the time, most clients struggle to motivate themselves to replicate the same programme over and over. They want variety and novelty, often failing to appreciate that they aren't necessarily physically ready for it. There seems to be a perception that training will include throwing weights around like a Crossfitter, climbing like a free runner and jumping like an Olympian, when the reality is, getting the basics right first like performing a perfect single bodyweight Press Up or getting into a solid Plank position is much more fundamental than those training ideals.

If you want to reach your goals, be patient with your Trainer and trust their methodology and processes. The most interesting exercises are often NOT the most effective. Getting the basics right and building up your ability to progress to more dynamic and interesting exercises will give you the starting point you need and make you better off in the long run.

Going back to the list above - take another look at it now. If you're investing in Personal or Group Training and not nailing the majority of these areas, focus on taking those fundamental smaller first steps before becoming distracted by shiny new training protocols which, although more enticing, are perhaps a few steps further along your fitness journey.



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