“Time for box jumps!” I told my client Judy. I turned around to grab a plyo box only to notice that Judy had walked to another box, a much higher one, and said, “This one?” “Sure!” I answered, trying not to let on that that this was a big jump (pun intended) from what she’d been doing the week before.
Here is the video of Judy’s box jump, performing the exercise as if she’s been doing it for a long time. And if she’d let me grab the box I would have used for her, I could have been preventing her from getting bigger gains.
Most people hire trainers because they need someone to tell them what to do. Taken literally, this could mean that a trainer ends up micromanaging the client’s growth rather than the coach providing the space to allow the client to figure out how strong they really are (and I don’t just mean physically strong). People also hire trainers to give them motivation and accountability. And while that can be great to kickstart better fitness habits, I wouldn’t want anyone to outsource their own motivation for the rest of their lives!
My purpose and mission is to empower clients reclaim ownership of their health and fitness by teaching them better exercise, nutrition and lifestyle habits. And while, for the first few months, that might mean picking out my clients’ weight and telling them exactly how to do an exercise, it will eventually grow into letting the client set up their own barbell for a deadlift or letting them choose what exercises they’d like to do to finish the hour, for example.
As much as people hire coaches for “accountability” and “motivation”, I strongly believe we trainers should be figuring out how to provide a space where the client can find that for themselves. I think TruFit and IzzyFit are super awesome but I’m still figuring it out how to do it better.
According to a theory of motivation (Self-Determination Theory), people have three basic psychological needs in order to thrive: Autonomy, competence and relatedness. What that basically means is that in order for a client to feel intrinsically motivated to do what it takes to reach their goals in and out of the gym, they need:
So what does this mean for you, dear reader? A few things, in no particular order. It means that:
Now with that, I encourage you to ask yourself, “What if I…” this weekend. (And tell me what happens by commenting below!!)