I'm terrible for this. My world starts to fall apart! August is known for being the pits so far as health and fitness go, and it's going to be! Summer holidays are in fill force, every ones' away and there is no bounce-back ENERGY in the club.
There's often no new take ups and the numbers are LOW!
I must be as fragile as a snowflake as I start to doubt myself and wonder where I went wrong, why I've been deserted and how my ego will survive! I'm a performer (!) and we need appreciating! Nearly every year SOMETHING will happen that keeps me going until we pick up again in September which is just as well because Hay bridge is only around the corner!
Such was this year..
A lovely lass called me and asked to join.
She'd already looked at the site and had made up her mind! (GOOD START!).
She then proffered to pay up front for the year which I also LOVE as it shows straight up faith and dedication. It all boded well! She booked an Induction.
Now we have Inductions where the client has joined a gym before, and just wants to crack on (maybe asking to be shown machines they don't know - as not many know the Jacob's ladder, Versa Climber or Airdyne), but here she'd been to a gym before but wanted the 'Full Monty' anyway!
In other words everything I got! And that's lovely as again it shows trust. And to be honest - after 19 years of watching people move, teaching across the board and progressing thousands of clients in their fitness goals - I HAVE picked up a 'thing or two'. She also mentioned she'd never had a 'proper' gym induction before which is worryingly common and (to my mind), astonishing!
So HOW can anyone know what to do without an Induction? Well I'll tell you what I've SEEN - some clients in the Club have come in with their smart phones and literally follow a work out from Mens' magazine or whatever but they are seriously missing a trick. If I go through what we did and what I picked up in our session, you'll see why. Let's call her Lisa.
Lisa brought in the medical form and had no apparent issues. She's young and looked fit so this didn't surprise me but you'd also be amazed at what people forget (I'm the same -as soon as I'm over an injury I instantly forget it!).. As the induction progressed I ask about nutrition. this lovely lass was absolutely honest (ALWAYS A BONUS), and it evolved she has a sweet tooth. Now for an induction we have limited time but I could straight away recommend a supplement that might well really help and put her on to our nutritional seminars that might also offer the support we all need. She hadn't had her blood pressure or heart rate done for ages so I tested this too (all fine). She mentioned her weight and as it is my mission to get clients to understand Body Composition I did this for her too. Here you get: weight, hydration levels, bone mass, physique rating, basal age and more. I e-mailed her the results (and other info) that night. From this she learnt that she had a fabulous visceral fat reading (lovely and low), and a basal age CONSIDERABLY lower than actual. BONUS!
Sometimes, if I pick up that there are any emotional blocks, stresses, or comfort eating or trouble in the past adhering to exercise I'll spend the rest of the Induction simply talking to the client - this is really important. In this instance, we were good to go. I showed Lisa all the machines. Normally I'll spread an Induction over two sessions but if necessary for any reason I'll do it in one - if we both have the time and inclination!
As we went through the machines I gave out tips such as Fartlek training (having fun with different intensity levels), and ideas as to how each machine might offer these different intensities (faster is not always the way forward - literally!). As we went around them she was so appreciative and I suddenly started to really pick up emotionally - yes I HAVE invested in some truly awesome machines over the years and this DOES pay off. It's fabulous to be able to offer the variety we do. The funny thing is I rarely go on them as I do all the classes and also because I get bored so quickly, I've sourced unusual ones, and invented lots of ideas on them all, to make them interesting and keep it that way!
Lisa also mentioned she's not keen on rowing, as it 'gets to her back'. Immediately I flagged that internally as that shouldn't be happening at any age, let alone in her prime.
The water rowers are brilliant and soft on the joints so I demo'ed one anyway (but inwardly determined to find out more on this issue once we got to the weights area). Its when we come to do weights I can really start to showcase my knowledge.
You see - no magazine or online work out can match what I offer here.
When you see clients doing weights with no assistance they have NO IDEA of what the 'ratio's should be', (muscle v muscle), mostly no idea of what muscle balance should offer (so they tend to end up working the [what I call] vanity muscles. They cannot observe or know about imbalances and are often totally unaware of what constitutes good posture and even if they know, cannot observe themselves from all angles AND - very importantly - in MOVEMENT! (we can all look good, shoulders back military style, from the side in a mirror!
Their technique may also be WAY OUT, and if they continue without help they will invariably exacerbate everything I've just mentioned! In addition as they have no idea of the BENEFITS of doing weights, and may not progress as they don't properly know how to (let alone how to recover from a good session)... they'll end up giving up ANYWAY!!!
Best of all I can 'diagnose' as I watch - from years of experience! AND better yet: CURE! Thus it was with Lisa. During the most simple initial weight programme (I start with just 5 exercises), I got the following:
• Lisa's Hamstrings were a little short (developmental stretch given)
• Her thoracic is immobile (so the Lumbar is taking it all)
• But her Rhomboids are fine (I thought they might not be firing)
• She gets pain in her knees when squatting but she was hyperextending her knees when doing so. Once corrected the pain instantly went away
• I gave out a pec stretch to do as she is tight in the chest muscles
• She is likely protecting her lumbar (due to historic problems in the past she's not mentioned in the forms - so easily done), so
• needs to do dead lifts and suchlike to strengthen up this area
HOWEVER we are starting very conservatively. here.
Knowing what weights she SHOULD be lifting allows me to go lighter, and to also let her know what we are aiming for in future.
This is basic stuff to a decent trainer - but this in ONE session (imagine what we can do over a year!) . There is nothing exceptional about this induction in the service given (ask my members) - but the reason I ended up blogging it is she very sweetly said afterwards "I had no idea it was so detailed".
This instantly got rid of my 'depression' and lifted me up.
The appreciation AND the realisation that what I offer is actually a bloody good service MADE MY DAY!
Like I said: Snowflake.
Cat Lawford. Proud Personal Trainer of the truly wonderful space that is the: Gym & Tonic Health Club.