“I am back, and you KNEW it!”
-Frank the Tank; Old School
Sorry for the hiatus. Things were busy and my creative juices were eluding me more than good Swing form at a kettle[BALL] convention. See, I’m back.
For real though, can we please put an end to whatever-the-shit this thing-thing is?
Squat to front raise FTW.
Ok, ok I know you’re not here for my well-above-average jokes and stuff…you’re here because you want the goods. Right, you savage, you?
The proverbial goods.
Last side note, promise. Wifey and I got some nerdy-ass craft coffee brewing badassery. And. The. Shit. Is. Legit. Creative vibes turned up to 12.5 right now.
And here we goooooo…
2017 was a great year for fitness if you ask me. It seems like the coaches are getting better, the clients are getting smarter, Thrive crushed it, and Nautilus (the effing OG of 80’s fitness equip.) came out with a semi-legit platform. What up?!
With all of the awesomeness that 2017 brought it also presented a lot of lessons to be learned. Something that became blatantly obvious to me this year after dissecting coaching from a very unique position was that coaches must be able to communicate with clients at their level.
Simple enough – or – is it.
Let’s break it down. What does communicating with clients at their level really involve?
Let’s start with 2 quick-as-hell stories.
- Coach loves to bodybuild and look uber sexy always. Client signs up who truly just wants to create the habit of a healthy lifestyle and drop a few jean sizes. Coach spends 99% of the time talking in terms that the client doesn’t understand (you know to sound smart and stuff aka speak Spanish to a newborn British baby) and communicate to the client as if they are preparing to go on stage in physique competition next week. After the honeymoon phase of hiring a trainer and the cool gym that they are working out in wares off the client cancels because “they can’t afford it.” p.s. they can afford it, the coach just did an awful job of doing the job that they were hired to do.
- Same coach, same client, but in this scenario the coach does a few things different. In this scenario, the coach actually listens to the client’s goals and does not try to fit the client into the coach’s goals/fitness habits. The coach communicates EVERYTHING in a way that the client can actually understand as well as why this workout will help them achieve THEIR (again, not your) goal. This client stays with their coach for 2-years as opposed to 2-months because they coach made these small adjustments. Easier said than done.
Before you comment and be all like “Yea but pushing your clients is important and you suck.” a) I don’t suck. b) I know, but you can push them to the extreme of THEIR goal without being a tool.
There is nothing wrong with fitness professionals pursuing their own dreams of bodybuilding or physique or power-lifting or recreational yoga laser tag. Think about it. But, there is a problem when you disregard the reasons that someone hired you just to instill what your fitness hobbies are.
This quote from one of Tony Gentilecore’s recent guest articles seems to bring it home:
“One sad aspect of my professional community that I sometimes notice is an unsettling tendency for some trainers to view their less-fit clients as somehow inferior, simply because they might be carrying a few extra pounds, or because they don’t know how to lift.
As if fitness is the only thing that matters in life.
News flash: You can (and many people do) live a perfectly long, healthy, and satisfying life without EVER exercising or counting carbs — crazy right? Imagine — some people actually focus their energy on their careers, or their family, or other hobbies. The idea of a perfectly balanced life sounds good in theory, but it’s terribly difficult to pull off in reality.”
A few hacks for how to be better at communicating with clients at their level:
- Actually listen to them during the initial investigation of why they signed up with you
- Do your homework by re-studying their goals often <– not just on day 1
- Ask them how YOU are doing specifically when it comes to taking them to their destination. Is there anything that they wished was different?
- Get really good at discussing things simply. to really know something means that you can communicate in a way that a 3rd grader would understand.
Happy New Year – 2018 is going to be awesome.
Thanks for reading and Kaizen on, Beast