A couple of weekends ago I spent about 5 hours on a Saturday morning teaching some Hardstyle Kettlebell Essentials at a local gym to some eager folks who wanted to learn more about Hardstyle Kettlebell Training and StrongFirst.
There were a lot trainers there and one of the commonalities among them was their idea of programming.
For example, I was speaking to a couple of trainers fresh out of school – like literally, one of them just graduated on Thursday – and they told about how they needed to constantly “change things up, incorporate lots of variety, and keep things fresh”.
So when I started talking about Hardstyle and getting clients to their goals, it kind of caught them off guard because it wasn’t what they learned in school.
It went something like this…
In this industry we’re constantly taught to keep things fresh. To provide variety so that our clients keep coming back for more.
When I used to work at a swanky gym in one of Toronto’s wealthiest neighbourhoods I called this “enterTRAINment”.
Why? Well because it seemed like my job went from “get your clients to their goal” to “keep your clients entertained with a variety of workouts, methods and modalities so that you make money and keep them coming back”.
BUT, there’s an inherent flaw in that way of thinking.
And it comes from the client’s end the first time they say something to the effect of, “Oh, we’re doing that exercise again?
We just did that last week (or last session, or yesterday).”
If you’re a trainer, I’m sure you may have heard that before.
You see, enterTRAINment is a trap that every personal trainer and coach falls into (at some point in our careers) because we feel the need to “keep our clients”.
BUT, what if we taught our clients to be focused on the goal?
And what if that meant that we stuck to ONLY an Essential 6 to 8 exercises using just a kettlebell & bodyweight, for example – no ropes, no balls, no half-balls, no balance boards.
Do you think the client would get bored? Would the trainer get bored?
Maybe, but It is THE GOAL that should motivate you – both trainer and client.
If you told me that you wanted to lose 30lbs of fat and all I told you to do was Swings & Get-Ups everyday for the next 30 days, would you do it knowing it would get you to your goal, or would you get bored and want some kind of variety even though you KNEW that it wasn’t the most efficient way to achieve your goal?
Or would you trust in the proven programming – not doing variety for sake of having variety – and see it through.
My job as a trainer and coach is to get you – the client – to your goal…by whatever PROVEN way that I see it necessary.
If that means that you will only do 6 exercises for the entire time that you and I have a trainer-client relationship, then so be it.
Why? Because your goal is to lose 30lbs or get stronger or put on 10lbs of muscle (or a combination of all 3).
As your trainer, I’m not here to shine your shoes and dance for you.
I’m not here for your enterTRAINment.
I’m here to use PROVEN METHODS to get you to where you’ve told me you want to be.
I’m here to help you achieve your goal.”
Listen, I understand that you want your workouts to be fun and that you’d appreciate variety.
Most of us train because we enjoy it and because we like the challenge.
But to add some fancy equipment or “invent” an exercise that looks like a circus trick just because it looks cool but has no rhyme or reason as to why it would be better than a swing or a press is just ridiculous.
And in my humble opinion, if you’re serious about achieving your goals, then you’ll do what’s proven and will get your “variety” out of the foods you eat and out of your love life.
So please, have a purpose to why you train. Be motivated by your goal and do what it takes – and what’s proven – to get you there.
Stop with the circus exercises or flash-in-the-pan equipment.
With your kettlebell and bodyweight, you’ve got everything you need.
Have an awesome day,