“New Year, New You” is the popular term being tossed around as 2017 jumped right into everyone’s lap. A new year means a fresh start, new goals, new aspirations. As a fitness professional, it is a happening time and a great opportunity to help as many clients, new and old, pave their way to a healthier lifestyle.
A common question or concern among novice gym-goers is where to go and who to trust with their goals and direction. With tons of advertisements flooding your social media channels, promising the masses “6-pack Abs in 3 weeks!”, it is quite easy to get caught up in something that may not work for you, or a personal trainer or coach who is not the right fit. The problem is that more times than none, these advertisements and who they are promoting are just telling you what you want to hear. Boasting about the individual to make him or her seem more attractive as a trainer but really they are all show and no go.
Rather than tooting my own horn and listing my credentials and accomplishments as a personal trainer, CrossFit Coach, and athlete, I am going to explain to you 5 things you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT get from me as your coach.
Cookie Cutter Training Protocol
Let’s start with your training program. I can promise my clients that they will NEVER receive a training program that does not coincide with their goals in the gym. If you are someone who has never exercised a day before in your life, you can bet that I will not be giving you a ton of volume in your first training session. If your goal is to compete in powerlifting, I will not have you completing endurance-biased programming. Each client’s training protocol is completely individualized. It will be based on your goals, wants, and what I feel is most important, your level of experience. It does you no good to be training for something that you do not want or enjoy. If your current personal trainer or coach has you completing workouts that are unparalleled to your needs, it is not helping.
People ask me all of the time, “What do you think about Zumba?” or “I just started TRX, do you think it will help me?” As your personal trainer I will never judge you or belittle your current or previous experience in the gym. If you are someone who enjoys fitness classes or spent the last 10 years body building, I think that is great. Want to know why? Because you are or were doing SOMETHING. Something that for the time being was healthy and hopefully fulfilling what it was that you sought out in the first place.
The question that I always ask clients or people in general when speaking about their training rituals is simply, “why?” Why are you doing what it is that you are doing? If you have an answer and you are happy with the results you are experiencing, then in my eyes you are doing exactly what you need to be and I will not judge you or bash whatever it is. Instead, I will encourage you to keep moving with forward momentum and stay focused on your health and fitness goals.
We all have to start somewhere. I have worked with clients of all different ages and experience levels. People in their teens or early 60s, Regional level CrossFit athletes or those who have never exercised a day in their life. What each of these individuals has in common is that at one point they were all a beginner. With anything that you are learning from scratch, there are always going to be ups and downs. It is extremely unlikely that a new client comes to me with perfect squat mechanics, being able to string together 30 unbroken pull-ups, or run 2 miles without stopping. And you know what? That is OKAY! We are all on our own health and fitness journey.
If there is anything that I have learned from the last 10 years of fitness experience, competitively and not, it is that I have to accept failure. I will fail over and over and over again. As your coach or personal trainer, I will never laugh or make fun of you for your failures in the gym. Or make you feel like you are incompetent and should just give up. Failing is how we learn and grow as an individual and athlete. I believe that if you do not fail you are not trying hard enough or pushing yourself to your potential. It is my job to teach you everything necessary to be successful in the gym.
Lies or Unrealistic Expectations
For a long time I was worried about offending people with the fear that they would cancel their membership or “fire” me as their personal trainer. Potential clients asking if I could help them lose an absurd amount of weight in a short period of time, or if I thought it was possible for a beginner to successfully complete a high intensity skill (read ring muscle up) before being able to complete 1 strict pull-up. These may be extreme examples but I would still have a difficult time being upfront and honest about their expectations. And I speak for myself when I say that I have looked at other female athletes and their nutrition, training program, etc. and thought that I need to be doing exactly what they are doing if I want to perform at a certain level or look a certain way.
That was the young, immature, and trying to make it any way possible professional in me. Just like a health and fitness journey, with every day that goes by we grow, progress, and mature as individuals. Today, I can honestly say that I will not tell you only what you want to hear for the sake of making you happy or so that you will stay. Being honest, sitting down and discussing goals and then creating an effective plan to smash those goals is how success is achieved. Also, there is no cookie-cutter approach to your health, fitness, body composition, or how you live your life. There is a lot of trial and error that goes into achieving your goals or finding what works best for you and no one else. Like years of trial and error. Trust me.
Accepting that I am not the only fitness resource out there is a reality that with time has become easier to stomach. I love being someone’s go-to for information and help. But sometimes I do not have all of the answers. I am extremely confident to say that if I do not feel adequate enough to help you with something you are trying to achieve, I can direct you to a different professional I think would be a better fit. At the end of the day we are all trying to better ourselves and if my tools and practices are not working, pretending they are would be the ultimate disservice.
It is true that I may have an intense personality and definitely demand the attention from the clients in my classes. I have even been told that all 5’1 of me is scary and intimidating. Yes, I can be loud, yelling across the gym floor, and I will certainly push you out of your comfort zone. That may come across as a negative thing for some but the truth is I run a tight ship, I know how to manage a group of people, and most importantly I always have your best interest in mind.
As your coach I will never approach or coach you in a way that will make you uncomfortable or unsafe. I want you to come in every day looking forward to class. I strive to make it the best hour of your day. I love interacting with every individual who steps foot in the gym. I take the time to get to know and learn about each individual’s personality and how they respond to my coaching and instruction. What cues work or do not. How to relate what we do in the gym to your everyday life. The more I know about you, your why, the better I can cater to you and your training experience.
The coaches at Diamond State are here because we love what we do, and we’ve been in the game long enough to know what works best for every individual we meet. Not everyone’s goals are the same, so their workouts shouldn’t be either – let us help you get where you want to be.
Coach Gia | Owner & Head Coach