Personal Training

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Stupid Ed

This blog post actually started off me writing an e-mail to clients. One thing led to another, it snowballed out of control and it became this huge article so I thought it would be best I write off here instead. 

The other day while training some clients someone looked at me and said ‘Ed you are this close to getting the effin word’…I laughed, as always. I’m used to it. See almost every day I either get “the look”, the F word, I don’t like you, you are on my list or something like that.

That’s cool I guess, see our workouts and training programs whether I’m training 1-on-1 clients, Jr. athletes, a corporate program or in my bootcamps… are tough and create an involuntary response (sometimes I think its voluntary… just saying).

But then one client said (while on the subject that same morning); “do you know how my husband and I call you at home?” And there it came… “Stupid Ed”. She said anytime anything hurts, they’re sore or whatever they go like ‘uh stupid Ed’. I laughed as always and for the same reason, I wouldn’t be doing my job otherwise. 

I train hard and I expect the same from you. Sure we all have different circumstances, needs, goals and body issues; but we all can give 100% within our own capabilities. 

However when I look closely at what many trainers and coaches are doing I realize some of them are really stupid, not because they annoy their clients with structured training and coaching programs that not only kick their butts and help them build better bodies; but because they have no idea what they are doing. Text book training, as with any profession, is never enough; sure it’s a great start but it will never give you real life experiences. One size doesn’t fit all…

Listen, I’ve been around so many trainers with multiple certifications, degrees or some type of online certifications or coaching title from x company who don’t know the difference between one muscle and the other nor understand the 101 on nutrition, and are out there telling you do this and do that.

I remember about three years ago one trainer measured his client’s body fat in front of me. By his equation the client had 17% body fat and he thought it was a reason to celebrate. However his client, which I think he knew better, cause he gave me the disbelief look… And I was there going like WHAT? I almost jumped out of my chair, this guy was a few pounds away from being eligible for the biggest loser at 5’8 and almost 300 pounds he did not have 17% body fat. Just by looking at this dude you or anyone would know he was about 40% plus of body fat. Another time I saw this trainer screaming as his client go, go, go and do it, waiting on her to perform a specific exercise, frustrated the client screamed back: “I can’t why don’t you show me”… and he couldn’t, he didn’t know how to perform the exercise. It was an embarrassment in front of everyone. Three years later I heard he’s not a fitness trainer any longer, because very few people would hire him. I have so many stories it’s no joke…

Maybe you think I’m harsh, but this is the truth. When you have a trainer/coach that doesn’t know how to measure their client’s body fat, and teach and perform basics of human movement or basic exercises such as squats, lunges, a push up, or doesn’t know the difference between protein, carbohydrates, fats and how these interact with your body; that’s a failure and you as a client will most likely end up on the losing end.
Skills and confidence are acquired through experience and experience requires time and opportunity. Books are great, and one should never stop learning… that is the key. In real life scenarios people will walk into a training facility and as you are excited and ready to train them, they go on and tell you how they messed up their knee, ankle, back or something in their body while working or doing foolish stuff over the weekend. Uhmmm chapter 5 doesn’t cover that, it doesn’t translate into real world experiences. You must adapt quickly and train (if the circumstances are still appropriate) within their capabilities.

Sometimes the problem is when the trainer tries to deliver training in areas they are not qualified for. Because of this, the client receives poor designed cookie cutter training. Ask your trainer a question as to why am I doing this exercise or what is this exercise is supposed to do. If he or she doesn’t know, it’s time to move on.
I love to learn, but I hate to study… the story of my life. But I know the necessity for me to continuously keep learning and that’s my goal. I have many books in my office and my house, I’m subscribed to plenty newsletters, podcast and attend frequent webinars and I’m constantly looking for ways to continue expanding my knowledge and my network of like minded people. However, when I don’t know something I don’t dare to teach it, better yet I refer out, that’s at least the best I can do for my client or person whom I’m not in a position to help out. 

I like the fact my clients enjoy my creativity and that we get great results. I love the fact that I get to inspire and motivate while at the same time my clients inspire and motivate me. Even a few have gone out of their way and are showing interest in training and coaching. 

All things considered… if that makes me “stupid Ed” at my client’s house… I’m good with it, it means I’m doing something positive (it’s weird I know). What I never want to be is the dumb trainer who doesn’t really care for himself much less the people who put faith in him to help them become healthier, fitter, leaner and better. 

It is my ethical obligation to always be better and help you be better.

Dedicated to your success!

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