I am writing today, not because I am not busy, but rather because I have been so motivated and inspired by the people who have come into my life recently.
Thanks to ETA College, I completed a Personal Training certificate during Covid in 2020 with all its limitations. Like everyone Globally, I was cut off from society and given that I live alone, this made the struggle even more real. Simple things like producing videos, taking pics, running 5K on my lounge floor because I didn’t have a treadmill, were real life challenges I had to overcome during my studies, as the accountability towards the practical part of the course would be absolutely necessary to afford me a pass with distinction. Yeah, I was not settling with a “pass”.
What I learnt through ETA and more importantly, the lecturer – Aubrey, the campus coach, the mentors and some of my fellow peers, was that this industry is people driven. Yes, there is a place for online, but the majority of people out there, need that personal interaction with their Personal Trainer.
Modules on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, being inside a person’s personal space and I can go on, that may seem irrelevant to you while you are studying, are vitally important when you embark on this career. Understanding energy sources, something I utilise a lot today, to assist clients with weight loss – bear in mind, I was not impressed with having to do the Nutrition module, boy am I glad I did lol!
I can go on and on raving about ETA, but until you have done the course, and lived in an ETA way, in other words motivated and inspired your clients, you won’t get this incredible high I am on. I have over 30 years sales experience, so I am very capable of motivating sales and inspiring people. However, I never knew that the art of motivating a sedentary person, obese person, would come from such an emotional space.
I sat yesterday afternoon, meeting an obese mother of 36, who had tears in her eyes all through our meeting. ETA teach empathy over compassion and it is extremely difficult to be more empathetic than compassionate. I guess this will come with years of experience, however I would rather keep the compassion than run the risk of becoming nonchalant with any of the ladies I have met and hopefully inspired.
What I learnt through this, is that everyone who is either committed to weight gain, over enthusiastic gym goers, and the list goes on, are driven by intrinsic thoughts of how they perceive themselves. And there are a lot of these people!
I am so grateful to ETA for the extremely complete course they offered as well as the niche market I have chosen – this being sedentary and overweight people. I have learnt to view the world through their eyes, and believe me, it’s a sad and lonely place.
But on a lighter note, when a sedentary or overweight client tells you, after maybe three weeks of training, “the light went on”, they now know their “why” they did what they did to themselves and more importantly, they now know “why” they are training with you…..that is just beautiful and it’s a GAME CHANGER….!!!
This is when your client has a mind shift and they progress from training being the last thing on their to do list – after work – to getting up early in the morning to meet you at the gym at 5am. This is when you know you made a difference, they now love themselves enough to create their own time.
When after a long weekend and they haven’t trained for 3 days, they tell you they missed their training sessions. When they ask if you are going away Easter Weekend, because they would like to train on some of the days. This is a breakthrough.
It’s easy to convert the converted….but is it easy to convert a nonconformist?
I was bold over when Virgin offered me a position in their organization, being a much older member, and I mentioned as much. Having a major player, as in Virgin, believe in your capabilities, because you have obviously shown your commitment to your OWN personal training, is the best compliment ever.
I now have a “following” on my Facebook page, which blows my mind…
I don’t have thousands of followers, but the few I have at this stage, make it happen for me. I have had 2 requests from ladies asking where I am based. After finding out the branch that I personal train at, they have subsequently taken out contracts at this gym to afford them the ability to train with me. This means they have to drive out of their way to train with me. Now that is commitment!
Both these ladies, do not belong to a gym and have never had a gym contract. Bearing in mind that I offer mobile training, in that I will see clients at their homes or offices, this is a major shift in my emotional way of thinking. You soon realise the impact you have on someone’s emotions AND it is something I will never overlook.
Two nonactive members are now training 4 times a week with me, all they needed was a little encouragement and a listening ear. I get messages thanking me for their amazing workout which they enjoyed and their personal motivation is up!
Training sedentary and overweight clients, has blessed me with noticing the change in their self-esteem from a mental and emotional level. I have challenged these ladies to write journals, which I will paste on my blog (currently working on that) to inspire other likeminded people and motivate them into a healthy lifestyle with longevity. They write from a very emotional space and are by far THE BEST motivators for their fellow peers.
So, what’s happened since? I now have a married couple who train together with me. Originally the husband wanted to muscle up (body building), which is not my go to plan, as I do more functional strength training, and focus more on weight loss than weight gain. I did try to palm this man off onto another trainer at my gym, however, he was is not going anywhere. His words to me were “I like the way you train me” and his goal has changed (by his own doing) from body building to beefing up a bit, with the main focus on core strength training.
With ETA you have to produce a business plan at the end of your studies. Something else I was not looking forward to doing. Yes, I have done numerous analytical plans and processes given my career and dealing with production lines, but I was not into thinking along the Personal Training business plan lines.
However, I decided if I was going to buckle down and do this plan, it was my time I was expending, and it needed to be well over 80% – which I achieved. The reason for this mention, is my business plan was aimed at sedentary and overweight clients. Definitely not muscle up peeps. So, I had to relook at my plan.
Whether you need to gain or lose weight, either way it is a life mission and one that carries emotional challenges for your client. I am pleased to say, together Joel and I are going to get him to where he needs to be with regard to his bulk size.
One very emotionally satisfied Personal Trainer! Chat soon…..