I was recently asked ‘‘What is it that you actually do?’
I’ve answered this question many times by saying ‘I’m a personal trainer, nutritional advisor, sports massage therapist and wellness coach.’
But this time I thought more about my answer. All the above is correct, but what is it that I offer my clients and how does it get results? As fitness professionals we all have a variety of qualifications, skills and approaches to fitness and health. As trainers we all have something valuable to offer people who come to us for help and advice. Above all the key to a client’s success is the professional relationship or bond that we form during our sessions.
In my articles I like to give a broad overview of many related topics, in the hope of reaching a wide range of interested and enquiring people, many of whom I never get to meet. (Thank you for reading them!) For the people who do contact me and the regulars I work with every week, I focus instead on understanding how the individual responds to training, nutrition advice or massage. Everyone has a different history and ambition, and during our appointments we talk – which can be a mix of health-related questions or a just conversation about how we’re feeling – so that I can see how you’re responding to your programme and what we may need to adjust. This enables me to form a picture of the individual in front of me. For the best results, there has to be a relationship where we can have an honest exchange, so we can both understand the reasons you want to change and identify and breakdown any barriers that might prevent you from succeeding.
I have to be flexible and adjust to my client’s needs, moods, aspirations, abilities and daily worries to get them through to a positive outcome. Sometimes a broad approach works but usually a more tailored programme works better to:
- Improve overall health and wellbeing – of course!
- Increase physical fitness
- Reduce body fat and increase muscle mass
- Change body weight and appearance
- Make long term improvements to nutrition
- Reduce pain and muscle stress through massage and stretching
- Provide advice and support to empower you to reach your goals
That’s what I actually do!
Here are some recent successes:
- By supporting one client by analysing WhatsApp photos of their meals and providing better food choices, they lost 20kg
- By working through a regular programme to improve cardiovascular fitness and balance, and by reflecting on psychological and physical racing performance, one client is now regularly on the podium for his chosen motor sport
- By introducing a regular programme of core exercises one client’s back pain has disappeared
- By adding in monthly massage to a fitness programme, an elderly client’s mobility has improved and their leg pain has reduced
This is what I believe in;
- Eat well to stay well
- Eat lots of vegetables
- Avoid sugar and highly processed foods as much as you can
- Eat slowly and stop when satisfied
- Enjoy your meals
- Drink plenty of water
- Move as much as you can
- Do the exercises you like
- Doing anything is better than doing nothing
- Remember to rest and recover
- Do what you can to improve sleep
- Improve your outlook
- Search out positive people
- Understand the importance of good advice
I feel it is important to stress what personal trainers do as professionals! We motivate, advise and support you. As I said to one of my clients recently; ‘it’s not just about what we do during our sessions, it’s about what you do in between them’ and I aim to support you whenever you need. Our goal is to empower you!
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