Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

Whenever someone asks me what’s it like being a trainer, I give them my honest answer.

It’s frickin’ awesome!

Okay — not all parts of it are fun.

It’s a sweet gig, and I can’t imagine doing anything else, but at the same time it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

But seriously though, wearing sweatpants to work is awesome.

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I’ve been a personal trainer for four years now, and I still can’t fully decide which population I have more of a challenge with, Type A personalities or people who need to be spoon fed. On one end, you have the go-getters. The people who are gung ho about their goals. While on the other, you have the little-to-no compliance folks. With these guys, they peruse social media telling there friends they wish they had their motivation.

If I had no choice but to choose who I have more of a challenge with, I’d probably veer towards the Type A’s…SLIGHTLY.

And I say slightly because…

They Overlook The Value Of Rest and Recovery

 

We obviously know the importance of it. Unfortunately, this premise gets swept under the rug too often. Hell, virtually every supplement out there is meant to hack your way into better performance. Finding a compromise and spitting facts at someone who’s hell-bent on training six days/week to damn near everyday is like trying to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s a tough pill to swallow for productivity junkies because they feel like they have to train a ton otherwise their progress will stall. Unless you’ve been injected with the super solider serum, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll achieve optimal results with that approach, let alone sustain it.

Remember: all you do in the gym is break your body down. I believe that you need to train with intensity and ferocity, but you also need to follow it up with a period of rest and recovery. 

Progress occurs outside the gym, not in it. Quality > Quantity.

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A few months back I hit the three year mark as a trainer. This was a big milestone for me considering I’m in an industry where the vast majority burn out within 1-2 years (sometimes even less). Although I’ve only been in the game for three years, I’ve learned quite a ton and gained a unique perspective.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned:

1. There’s a lot of hard work involved

 

This should come as no surprise. It’s really silly to think you can skip steps and avoid the process — like there’s some magic formula. Quite frankly, that type of thinking is repulsive. Pay your dues. Everyday. The vast majority that don’t “make it” fail to understand the simple concept of hard work.

To go against this grain just spells entitled douche bag.

2. Professionalism goes a long way

 

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As a kid, the one virtue that was drilled into my head over and over again was humility (thanks Ma). You’re not superior to your craft and others. That’s why I continually stress the importance of never looking down and thinking you’re above everything or anyone.

Let me tell you, when it’s time to shut my mouth and learn, I take my trainer hat off. I can make a legitimate argument that that’s what paid dividends to my success early on.

If you want to standout, conduct yourself like a professional — serve as an example and an inspiration.

3. You can’t help everyone

 

I can’t stress this enough. When I first started out, I wanted to help everyone. The reality that quickly took place, however, was the complete opposite — I learned the hard way that you can’t help someone who doesn’t genuinely want help.

There is a fine distinction between someone who says they need help, and someone who actually wants help. With that in mind, it’s virtually impossible to help everyone that crosses your path. This was such a tough pill for me to swallow considering my optimistic nature.

So… in the grand scheme of things, actively seek out people who actually want help.

4. Have positive interactions

 

This, in many ways, ties into the second lesson mentioned above. Being good at what you do is a given — no way around that.  It’s essential that you do your work and get really, really, REALLY good at it. However, further down the road, having positive interactions and building relationships makes a bigger impact.

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As a frame of reference, my former employer back when I used to teach P.E. was such a huge influence in my life he and I became good friends. In fact, he was the one that made the intro to the owner of the gym I currently run my business in. Some would label that situation as luck (which is sort of true), but this is a perfect example of where preparation meets opportunity.

5. Be clear and concise

 

Understand that people are inherently skeptical, and trying to impress them doesn’t do any good. On many occasions, I’ve had my clients nod their head whenever I tried to articulate the reasoning behind a certain drill and/or exercise — it’s safe to say they didn’t know what the hell I was saying. With that said, you have to understand that everybody caters to simplicity. In the realm of strength and conditioning, minimizing trainer jargon and becoming proficient in your communication skills is paramount.

The best trainers and coaches in the world are the ones who are able to convey their message as if they’re the client.

Think and act like a trainer, but speak like a client.

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1. Performance based goals yields better long-term results. Being able to do a chin-up(s), deadlift 1-2x your bodyweight, or simply move without pain — the confidence that comes with that is advantageous to your overall health.

2. A well-qualified coach can be a great addition to your progress. But at the end of the day, he/she is not going to spoon feed you. You’ve got to take ownership of your own health. If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything.

3. Band-resisted Deadbug is a great drill to do before you hammer squats or a deadlift because it encourages you to keep a neutral spine, and your anterior core engaged.

4. Alignment and how well you move is going to determine the loads and stress on your joints. You’re body is amazingly adaptive, so always ensure you’re moving with proficiency.

5. If there’s one thing that working in a commercial gym has taught me, it’s that most folks go through the motions. Bust your ass and focus on getting stronger. Watch what happens.

6. Pizza is life, period.

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7. Get lean and strong with the prowler.

8. If your diet consists of minimally processed foods, you’re body will pay you back. If you eat crap… well, we all know where this is going.

9. You don’t have to be an athlete to train like one.

10. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. More often than not your mindset is taken to a different level.

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11. Squatting ass-to-grass or deep squatting is primarily governed by genetics. You can improve range of motion through various mobility drills and soft tissue work, but it’s ignorant to assume that everybody should squat deep. Assess, individualize, and prioritize.

12. A lot of shoulder, elbow, and wrist problems can be cleaned up by looking at scapular positioning. The site of the pain is not always the source.

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13. Standing on a BOSU or wobble board, and performing an overhead squat while holding your cat in one arm is not “functional training”. There’s nothing more functional than lifting heavy ass weights off the floor. Stop training for the friggin’ circus.

14. If you make the mistake of restricting too many calories in your attempt to lose weight, your efforts will bite you in the butt the moment you say, “F*ck it” and pig out.

15. Consume as many calories as you can whilst still seeing results. There’s plenty of time to make adjustments.

16. So cool to see my articles getting published back home in Saipan.

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17. The more disciplines you improve, the better the results. That said, I’d have to say that mitigating alcohol consumption and adding more protein into your diet is the most effortless thing you can do to start burning more fat.

18. Never sacrifice form to lift or move more load. Movements that begin from the spine is an indication for future back pain. Move well, then move often.

19. Must have supplements: Vitamin D, Probiotics, Cod Liver Oil.

20. I hate Farmer Carries and Bulgarian Split Squats, but man do they make your body change.

21. Fat loss is simple by design. Unfortunately, we make things more complicated than it has to be.

22. Don’t be demoralized by how much more you have to do. Rather, appreciate how far you’ve come.

23. How’s this for a baller photo? #ThatViewDoe

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24. If you’re having difficulty learning how to deadlift properly, try the landmine deadlift. It encourages you to shift your weight posteriorly imposing much less sheering force in your lower back, and your grip isn’t a limiting factor.

25. If you’re trainer or coach throws you into the workout without an assessment, RUN!

26. Take all the pills and powders you want. If you’re not employing the simple things such as drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, you’re wasting your time.

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