One thing that’s happened after I’ve become a PT – is that random people seem to think that I’m passionately interested in everyone’s health and training. Don’t get me wrong, I like to talk training – a lot. But preferably with people who actually train themselves in some form. We can talk reps and weight and sequence and post-recovery meals until the raptures. Let’s do it. But, I might not be to interested in why you haven’t trained this week. Or that someone you know has trained 6 times this week. Or about your friends weight loss. Or why you still haven’t trained. And why you haven’t trained at all this month come to think of it… and so on. If you are not my client, I’m not going to be at all interested in your excuses not to train. Those are your decisions. Own them. My approval or disapproval or whatever you are seeking doesn’t matter at all. You are an adult – train, don’t train, it really is up to you. Why you need to tell me, I don’t understand. I’m not some kind of supreme training controlling government agency that makes sure that if you haven’t trained – you have a really good excuse. I usually just smile and say “aha aha, ok, you don’t say” and leave it at that. Here is the thing though – I can’t help you. If that’s what you are seeking? Some magical words that’s going to make it ok, or that’s going to make you wanna train? There are no short cuts. That would be the biggest fitness myth of all time. You and you alone need to get your ass off the sofa. I’m not going to be there after you come home from work and drag you to the gym, or roll you out of bed 45 minutes earlier in the morning. You need to find the motivation to do it by yourself. I can’t make you. I can’t make my clients do it either. It all starts with you. You are an adult, own your own decisions.
I’m working out at the gym. I’ve been killing myself and I’m finishing off with some dumbbell shoulder presses. Towards the end of my set, I’m really struggling, you know, it’s heavy as shit at this stage. I’m making faces, and might not have the smoothest movement pattern. When finished, the guy next to me strikes up a conversation and suggests that I should probably sit down while doing my shoulder presses. I walked away. (I know what I’m doing, I’m standing up for my core activation) 15 minutes later I was back in the gym wearing my gym shirt that has PERSONAL TRAINER printed all over my back. The guys eyes popped out I think. Yes, you DID just do that. Suggested to a personal trainer that she should take it a bit easier.
Guys (because it seems to be mostly something guys do) – do not EVER comment on the weight a girl is lifting/pushing/pressing. Do not EVER voice your opinion about how you find the size of her muscles. No exceptions. Wanna chat up a girl at the gym? Talk about you preferring to squat in the smith machine instead of the squat rack, or just ask if she is done with a bench, or mat, or whatever! Or just say she is a boss and congratulate her on a good set. (I would go with the last one)
Lesson over kids.
Me vs You. Let’s battle it out. The challenge is consistency.
I mark many work-outs throughout the space of say 3 months. You don’t. You are highly inconsistent most likely. Some weeks you do real good, others are a big failure. Most, come to think of it, don’t turn out the way you’d hoped. But you know – life! Things get in the way. Actually! Work, and kids, and sleep, and being absolutely spent, and wine, and friends, and sunshine, and coffee, and sleep. Yes, we can argue that I have no life, but that might be a different discussion. We can use one of the members at they gym if that is better. She is at the gym more or less everyday. She’s got a 4 kids, working and got a husband in the military that goes out for field for weeks on end. She is going to compete in a fitness competition and is putting in hard work at the gym.
What would the single most important difference be? We don’t let things get in the way for our work-outs. We consider them important meetings booked in with our bodies. We will make them priorities in life. Yes, we can meet and have a glass of wine – after the workout. Yes we might have a doctor’s appointment for 30 minutes in the afternoon… but that doesn’t mean we don’t do anything else that day. We will just go to the gym afterwards. But, you might not actually have the time, it’s just too much to do and you haven’t eaten properly. There are days when I run around like a crazy person too, and can’t for the life of me understand when I’m supposed to have time to shower (yes, truth). But those days are the exception and we always make sure we have food enough so we can work-out. You should see the stack of luggage in the joint PT-office because we are dragging around food for half an army, extra exercising clothes, towels, shower-things, different kind of shoes, containers of protein powder… And so on. Might not be really necessary for a normal person to spend every night packing for 30 minutes, but throw in an extra banana or 2 so you are good to go. Stop using excuses. You have decided to work out three times this week. Unless you’re sick those appointments stand and you can’t cancel. You don’t seem to be in a hurry to cancel any other appointments, so why these? They are important and should be something top high on your list of priorities. Why are you – and your health – not the most important thing in your life? Why aren’t you worthy of that time to maintain/gain health? Take a moment or two to contemplate that.
PS. You are worthy.
One thing that is becoming more and more evident is this notion of the “easy” fix to weight loss. Or toning up, or whatever it might be. You do a day here or there, eat a salad here or there, and think that you’ll be able to see great improvements.
Many seem to be very unaware of the actual work that needs to be put down. The relentless hours at the gym doing HARD work outs. There is a myth about the fat burning zone. That to burn fat you only do low-moderate intensity work-outs. In theory it’s right. In reality it’s wrong. It’s being used as an excuse basically. Yes, at low/moderate intensity you will burn more fat. But the higher intensity you work at – the more calories you burn. And at higher intensity work-outs you will still burn fat. That will not stop all together. It is always more beneficial to work at a harder intensity.
But also the consistency that is needed in change of diet to see results. It’s not going to change anything that you one day here and there opt for a more healthy eating option, when your all the other times don’t get healthy eating down very well. Or eating at all for that matter.
And you look to health professionals to help you with the easy fix. Thinking we might have a miracle cure to achieve your goals. But we don’t! It’s not actually going to be easy, or be done in a heart beat. We can however help you be consistent, make things fun, doing things the right way, prevent injuries – and that is going to get you results. But not over night.
Did my first hours in the industry today!
It was lots of fun – and very interesting. I have two initial reflections I thought I’d share. My opinions might change however since it is only my first day, but I thought it would be interesting to write it down, come back to it and see what I think later down the track!
-There is “shaming” in the industry.
With this I mean experienced trainers shaming more unexperienced trainers for not sharing their philosophies and/or knowledge. It has happened on two occasions that the experienced trainer has been going down rather hard on other trainers. (This was however not today at the gym I was.) It might be expressed in a rather general sense but… I don’t understand how you can expect a recently graduated trainer to have the knowledge you have – with 15-20 years in the industry backing you up. And that’s why we have come to you – to learn. But for me – I will not be coming back if that is the attitude you will express towards me. Maybe we are so spoiled by our coaches at the Institute – that nurture us, lead us, guide us, help us learn, evolve and provide an awesome atmosphere for all of this to happen? And when in the real world you just get confused by the resentment some more experienced trainers show towards “newbies”. If you go on and on about all the stupid trainers out there trying to teach people kettle bells when everyone not approved by you personally are completely incompetent with kettle bells – I will not be picking up a kettle bell anywhere nere you. Even though you probably could have taught me so much.
-I know more then I think I do
I was sitting watching PT:s today. And I was just going… I would not have made that exercise choice. And I can back it up with good arguments too. Sometimes I wanted to ask what the purpose was, maybe they had a good plan/reason behind it, and I was left in the dark. But I’ve tried to reason about it, but I still can’t think of a good argument for it. Not the way it was done. And that was very fascinating to me! It’s going to be so interesting from this point of view to continue to shadow, and see what I can pick up in this regard! And we are supposed to write down our favorite 20 exercises that we’ve picked up after our weeks out in the industry. Today – I’ve written down 0.
Let me tell you about when I passed out in class – in a cheerleading outfit (in front of the guy I think is cute).
During the course we had a number of assessments. This particular day was towards the end of our course, and we had to write a 45 min gym session catering an athlete. Then take one of our fellow classmates threw that program the next day. And you dress up in silly costumes and pretend to be athletes. One of our classmates is a cheerleader and she brought heaps of clothes for us to use. My classmate went first as the PT and I was the athlete client. And she smashed me. She worked me extremely hard, and I pushed myself through. I like being challenged like that – and I didn’t want to stuff her session up by being a difficult client. At this stage though I felt fine.
But sitting up after the stretching – I felt something was wrong. I was tired in a whole new way, and it wasn’t good. I felt a bit unstable and weak and shaky. I slowly got up and went in to the classroom and got down on my chair. And still felt weird and unstable, and getting more and more shaky, and tired. I just felt I had to lay down. So I made it down to the floor next to my seat. And apparently, according to my friend, I was unresponsive during this time. Not for very long, but still. I just kind of wanted to say that I was not unresponsive coz I don’t remember that, but I guess that’s kind of the point. She however went to touch me and that I remember because I jerked like she had electrocuted me. Apparently my entire nervous-system was fucked up due to the excess training.
Eventually my friend got me up sitting, having me eat and drink. But since then my blood pressure has been elevated. It’s annoying and it means I have to take it easy when it comes to exercise. I do feel much better then the first day after, but it still insists to be too high. Me not approving. All those motivational pictures with the caption something like “your body can take almost anything, it’s your mind you have to convince” doesn’t necessarily apply to me. I can apparently push my body into pass-out mode. No problems. And then get mad at it for being a bit shaky afterwards. My poor body. And we don’t mention the guy. No we do not. He is cute, off-limits and I apparently nearly gave him a heart attack.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is how me compare ourselves with others all the time. All the freakin’ time. We look at pictures at supermodels and feel bad because we don’t also look like that. And I feel that sometimes people compare themselves with me. And you can say the same thing about both examples really… With me, I live and breathe exercising, fitness and healthy eating. It’s my job, more than full-time and a surround myself with almost only like-minded people. Fitness and health, is what I spend all my days doing. Of course I’m all wrapped up in it. Of course I get heaps of exercise in just by accident almost and need to eat accordingly so I don’t pass out due to malnutrition. So if you are not working as a Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, if you actually have to take a large bulk out of your day to spend at your full-time job – then why are you comparing yourself with me? Why on earth are you aiming your goals to be somewhere around mine? It’s crazy and completely unachievable. And that’s ok! You need to do what works for you – in your life – and not compare yourself with people who spend their entire days fine tuning the balance of their calf muscle. Or supermodels who have a full-time employers helping them with exercise and nutrition.
We are not all going to look like supermodels. And that’s ok. As long as we are healthy! Not getting sick, can carry our own grocery bags, have energy to get ourselves through our days, having the energy to be active in our lives, keeping that blood pressure within normal ranges and cholesterol nice and low. Feeling good in our bodies and minds. That is what we should strive for! Not some crazy ideal that we can’t possibly get to anyway.
And yes it is easy for me to say, since I have never been over-weight, I love exercise and have created a life where I can do it around the clock. Yeah. It’s easy for me to say this having a body many probably would want. And I guess it is easy, but I don’t talk about of the esthetics here even though it always get’s turned around to that in these discussions. It’s easy for me to not focus on my physic because I don’t need to. Sure, you are not entirely wrong, it might be easier from my point of view. But you know what, it hasn’t always been easy for me either. I’ve been sick, had fucked up back and knees (still do to a certain point), I’ve lived on crappy food, felt absolutely miserable, taken anti-depressant (still do, but less and less) and failed and struggled too. I’ve had help from my coach picking me up when it’s been real bad in regards to healthy routines and destructive mindset. I am by no means super-woman that always has her shit together, and I need help sometimes too. But I don’t beat myself up about it. I don’t think I’ve failed because of it. And more than certain features of my body (like seriously, cellulite camp on my ass), I focus on the way my body makes me feel, how food/nutrients make me feel and how exercise make me feel. That is what I try to tell people, clients, friends and family. How do you feel? I don’t care about the numbers on the scale, it’s just a measuring tool, only useful in some instances. I want to measure your health and fitness based on how you feel, on your energy-level and your excitement that your body can do almost anything if you’d only gave it the tools!