First of all, I can’t believe how much time flies as I’ve entered my 30s. It really does not feel like it’s been 5 years. Second, I am so thankful that my clients all liked me enough to keep paying me. When I first walked away from a full schedule of clients at a commercial gym, things were a little skimpy financially. I knew I had enough business to pay my bills, but I had to depend heavily on my wife (fiancée at the time) in order to eat. Fast forward 5 years, I’d say we are doing much better!
So what happened along the way? When working at a gym, I was one of the more successful trainers there, and thought to myself, “I know pretty much all that I need to know about what I’m doing.” I was dead wrong. Walking away from that job was one of the best things to happen to me (maybe besides Kelly and Taj, mostly Taj).
It forced me to branch out and learn more about training and business. It has been a yuge growth experience, and it continues to this day. Here are some of the things I have learned along the way that I feel have made me more effective as a trainer/coach.
- Advanced shoulder and hip screening.This has taught me when working with a new client (or even one I’ve been working with for years), about how to adjust exercises for shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, and low back pain. Not very many people come to me without some kind of ailment, and having a deeper understanding of proper movement and spinal alignment have helped tremendously. It has helped me develop a better and ever changing system of regressions and progressions for exercises. I’ve taken clients that were told by their doctor that they shouldn’t squat, taught them how THEY should squat, and seen tremendous improvement in strength without pain.
- Focusing on changing behaviors, not just giving general nutrition advice. People often feel overwhelmed with how much weight they have to lose, or that their diet altogether is terrible. They don’t know where or how to start. Focusing on changing one or two behaviors at a time is simple. You can measure progress by adherence to those habits and not just the scale. I’ve found that it is far more beneficial to focus on doing the little things well, rather than trying to do more advanced nutrition strategies like intermittent fasting figuring out timing of your nutrients around your workout.
- Using social media. I hate Facebook. It sucks away my time, time I could use to be more present with my wife, walk the dog, get my workout in, or better yet, shredding mountain bike trails (when it’s not monsoon season). However, I can’t ignore how powerful it can be. People get their news, see what their friends did over the weekend, and it’s a great way to advertise. I have gotten business by using Facebook. I also like to use it as an avenue to help educate and inform my clients and really anybody else that wants to listen to me. I hope that besides learning how to safely and effectively workout towards their goals, that my clients will learn things from me to become self-sufficient in their time away from our sessions.
So here’s to many years to come, and the projects I will be working on in the near future!