When it comes to fitness, not everyone is on your side. Not everything someone tells you will be what’s best for you. Not everything you hear will apply to you. As a coach I’ve seen this a lot. It’s easy for a client to become enamored with something they hear that sounds new or more glamorous. Part of our jobs as coaches and trainers is to establish a level of trust and communication with our clients and students so that they understand we are partners with them for their benefit. People will hear all types of things as they stay involved with fitness. They will observe others doing things differently from them and wonder why. At worst, as a coach you want your pupils to come to you with any questions or concerns so that things can be put into perspective. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen this way.
If you hire a coach or a trainer there’s something that you always need to keep in mind. They are the one person who knows your entire story. They know your goals and challenges and the things that you’ve done previously that have led you to this point. They know what has worked for you and what has failed, your strengths and your weaknesses, and what you need to focus on the most to get to where you want to be. A lot of times when you hear or see something else it won’t fit ideally with either your goals or capabilities. Which means it often won’t apply to you. It doesn’t matter if it has worked for someone else or it’s coming for someone who’s famous or popular or “a pro”, it still might not be what’s best for you. And often the person giving you that advice has little interest in taking your best interest into consideration.
In my Coaches Course I advise my perspective coaches that their best clients will always be recruited by their rivals. Others will want to be associated with them and their success. The better they are, the more unsolicited advice they will receive. Often it will be a backhanded complements designed to imply that they could or should be doing better, if only they had the right guidance or information.
Today, we are the victims of information overload. Like most things this can be good and bad. On the one hand, we have easy and instant access to limitless information. On the other hand, having a lot of information isn’t the same thing as having the right information or the best information. In fitness, this can either lead you to go rapidly in the wrong direction, or completely spin your wheels to go nowhere at all. Neither is a very good option.
As a client, you should do your initial homework and hire someone with the level of knowledge and experience that you need them to have to best assist you. You must also ascertain if you will be a good fit personality wise so that you can communicate properly and work together effectively. And then you must listen to what they tell you and apply it correctly. There is a reason you hired them so give their instructions the opportunity to work. It’s not about what someone else is doing or would have you do. It’s not about how someone else is responding to their program. They are not you.
Fitness is a monkey see, monkey do industry. Many times that new, exotic practice that’s catching your attention has already been considered and discarded as not that effective or what’s best for you. A lot of the things people do were originally developed to solve specific problems that don’t relate to you. Using jumper cables to start your car if your battery is dead solves a specific problem. Jump starting your car when it’s working fine would be ridiculous. It’s equally ridiculous to copy others or follow random advice without all the variables being taken into consideration.
At the very least communicate with your trainer/coach any concerns you have and get a better understanding of what you’re doing and why. But if you decide to not follow their advice and make adjustments on your own, it’s not the program that failed you, it’s you who failed the program. Programs can always be adjusted if/when needed but the reason for doing so should still take in all the existing variables that pertain to you and your goals.
The best trainers/coaches will combine their knowledge and experience with the clients experience, feedback, progress and input to create the best possible results. They know it’s not about them but about helping their clients reach their goals. But this is a lot easier when the client also understands that they have an important role in making sure that they get the best results. They must communicate, commit, trust and understand that it’s a two-person team designed to work together. That’s when the magic happens!