1. It’s Your Hormones
Personal Trainers the world over love to blame hormones for client shortcomings. Hormones are illusive, complex and most importantly, it shifts the blame from trainer (or client) to a factor one can’t seem to control. True, there are some whose hormones do everything they can to ensure they don’t reach their goals. This is not the rule. Let’s not blame hormones for mis-guided nutrition or training with the intensity of a care bear on valium.
Statements such as “last night, I ate a whole jar of nut butter, I think I am oestrogen dominate” or “I ate ice cream, I think its my thyroid” are not hormonal problems.
Note: “Last night, I watched The Notebook, I now think I have low testosterone” could be an excuse.
2. This Supplement Will Change Your Life
Let’s be clear, I use supplements often and recommend them frequently. However, our health is multi-faceted. There is no magic bullet, cure all, do all. I’ve devoted many years of my life to learning the ins, outs and intricacies of effective supplementation. Based on my knowledge, many of the recommendations I make to clients (past and present) improve their quality of life and some may even say, “it’s been life-changing”.
However, statements like “life-changing” I downplay. Why? I am not going to undo the damage caused by years of bad sleep, bad digestion and/or stress-induced anxiety in a couple of weeks. Just like our health, life is multi-faceted. Use your supplements as health insurance; make lifestyle changes that limit the need for them.
Again, for full disclosure, my personal supplementation involves 5 to 7 specific supplements daily as I live a hectic life and need good insurance. Again, supplements will help but life is multi-faceted. Train hard, eat well, make lifestyle changes AND take your supplements. Just don’t be sold, that your health is going to dramatically change unless you also commit to making long-term lifestyle changes.
Long-term change comes with long-term commitment.
3. It’s All About Getting Strong And Jacked, You Sissy
There was a time when I thought there wasn’t much more to life than being big and ripped. Call it maturity, getting older, having a wife, a kid, running a business, managing staff, managing hundreds of training sessions each week, (call it what you will), I now realise, there is much more to life than being big and ripped.
Many over enthusiastic trainers impose their personal goals onto their clients without really realising WHO their client is. Sure, all clients want to achieve their goals as fast as possible, but you need to stop and think, they are also the owner or CEO of a business, have a family and a million other responsibilities. You might think I am being too ‘soft’, rather I like to think of it as not setting up unrealistic expectations that one can not live up too. Expectations that then set them up for shame and guilt later down the track when they realise, there is no freaking way they will ever achieve those goals.
The reality of personal trainers is, we idolise athletes who get paid to train, we train people who pay to train.
Our clients don’t have all the time in the world to master their bodies, sometimes simply showing up is like winning the world championships and that should be honoured. They should not be made to feel not good enough because they haven’t gotten their body fat down to 7% yet.
4. I am Motivated So Listen to Me
I only hire trainers who love training. I do believe that you shouldn’t be a trainer unless; 1. You love training and 2. You like people. With that said, personal trainers love to crap on about how ‘motivated‘ they are. I have been saying this for years, motivation is overrated. No one needs motivation to do the things they love. It’s easy for a trainer to train because they love it. Get that same trainer to do admin… Oh wait, what happened to their motivation? They suck. They lack discipline.
Personally, I don’t rely on motivation for anything other than the things I enjoy (I always seem to find the motivation to eat a nice dinner with my wife). Instead, I have disciplined myself to do all the things I don’t enjoy but need to get done and that is the trainer you should listen to. Motivation is like pre-mature ejaculation, it doesn’t last long and doesn’t deliver sustained satisfaction. Find a trainer who practices discipline.
Trainers who parade on Facebook like celebrities and flaunt how much money they make are stupid.
No one who chooses spend their money with you likes it when you wipe in their face how much money you make. Not really a way to show gratitude back to the people who invest in, and value your service.
When I see trainers shift into “business coaching” it just shows how lousy they were as trainers in the first place and that they need supplementary income to make a living. If you’re in it to make money, go into real estate or become a lawyer. The top wage of a Personal Trainer is reserved for the selected few who dedicate their life to perfecting it. Certainly not for those looking for a get rich quick scheme.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s one thing to jump the gun and pretend you’re a business coach who is uber successful and it’s another thing entirely to be so successful that it expands to other endeavours. Take for example Tony Doherty. Out of the sheer love and passion for bodybuilding (and desire to give others less fortunate a place to train) Tony opened up several gyms, has been the promoter of the IFBB in Victoria for several years and now is business partners with Arnold Schwarzenegger and promoter of The Arnold Classic Australia. People seek Tony’s advice because he has actually been there and done it… AND it took him years and years of hard work and effort. He is the real deal and someone I greatly respect and admire. With Tony, there is no smoke or mirrors. This is a commonality of those who have actually BEEN successful to those who are still figuring it out.
6. I’m an ex-Athlete/Competitor, I have Won a Bunch of Stuff, so That Means I am a Champion Personal Trainer – Listen to Me.
There is a HUGE difference between an athlete and a coach. Many athletes know what works for THEM. A coach’s job is to figure out what works for YOU as an individual and has had experience with a huge range of clients and athletes. Athletes assume competency at basic movements because they can do it. People going to the gym for the first time are far from competent at basic movements. They go too hard too early, they will get injured, it’s just a matter of how and when. Knowing what works for you and what works for someone else are two different things. Blowing my own trumpet, if you look at the consistency and depth of results we have helped clients achieve over the years, it’s an example of what I am talking about. Short, thin, fit, fat, tall, genetic freak, genetic shallow end, my team and I have worked with them all and produced consistent results. Don’t rely on the picture of the ripped trainer on Facebook, look instead for depth and consistency in the results he or she has achieved with others.
7. Your Form is Good. You are Doing it Right. That Partial Squat is Perfect. (You’re Actually a Lot Worse Than You Think You Are)
Most “Fitness Pros” have uber low standards. Probably because they’re too busy perfecting their Facebook ads and planning their next Google Hangout with another trainer who hasn’t produced any results worth talking about. I only tell clients “good” when they have done so. I was once compared to Hitler when I offered my expertise analysis of a client that she ‘sucked’. I don’t know about you but it makes me think there are way too many snowflakes today with low expectations and standards if being honest about someone’s performance compares me to Hitler. I would rather give people true value on the things I say rather than giving them a false sense of self-esteem and accomplishment when they don’t deserve it. If I say “good” to everything, my word loses its value.
Too many trainers walk around blowing smoke up their clients’ arses because they are scared they will leave them. I am not saying to be an arsehole to your clients, what I am saying is to get the best out of people, you need to hold them to your standards. My standards are high which pushes people forward and towards where they want to be. You maybe think, what about previous point 3, about being strong and ripped? In life there is a balance. It’s about knowing when to push your clients and when to respect effort. One thing I always reward is effort. One thing I am always honest about is performance compared to the ideal.
The reality is, due to substandard education in the fitness industry, trainers don’t know what good, bad and terrible are. Most trainers don’t know how to screen clients nor have the eye to determine if clients are moving correctly or incorrectly. I recently did a seminar with Dmitry Klokov and was impressed with his eye for detail. He told me to stop my deadlift when I only lifted it a couple of centimetres off the floor. He wasn’t happy with my position and told me to start again. Another commonality of all highly successful coaches is that they are very particular. When you live and breathe it, you can’t help it.
Owner and Director, Enterprise Fitness
If you would like further information about training with Mark or a member of the Enterprise Fitness team, email [email protected] or call 1300 887 143.