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What motivates the trainer?

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A client asked me to write a blog based on their questions, this was sent to me on my RS Form Feedback for members.

Q1: Have you ever thought about posting something on how you or trainers and coaches in general get their motivation to do what they tell their clients to do? You motivate us all the time, keep us on our toes, keep us safely improving on our goals and PR's, encourage us, and yell at us both workout and nutrition wise.

A1: I can’t speak for other trainers. What motivates me is watching my clients respond to the program in a positive fashion and teamwork, tells me what I am doing is working and providing leadership. The outcomes may involve strength, power, body composition, mobility, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, improvement in some aspect of QOL or ADLs, better form or technique, almost anything that they come to me for that requires improvement, whether they realize it or not. For example, being able to squat deep without bending over, rounding the back, heels coming off the floor or knees moving way out in front of the toes. How many people even think about that and the consequences of not being able to properly perform a deep squat? Do you think they associate their lower back problems or knee problems with tight hips/ankles? Seeing that happen in someone that came to me in with the flexibility of a sun dried 2 x 4 is profound, or a client being able to perform a solid pushup, chest to floor off their toes without the spine taking on the shape of an S-hook. Seems pretty simple, but very few new clients can execute a simple pushup without their head drooping, lumbar spine collapsing and scapular winging. Client success is more than making their biceps bigger or waistline smaller.

 Q2: How do you stay on track when you are in the gym doing workouts by yourself or nutritionally - do you ever have days that you eat things that aren't that great and won't enhance your performance in the gym or in life?

A2: Never, I always eat carefully, balancing my energy intake with output to perfection, every workout is awesome. The rest of my life is perfect as well, 8 hours of sleep a night, no stress and lots of recreation and vacation time.

A2a: (non-Facebook) It is a constant struggle just like everyone else. Any trainer that tells you otherwise is full of it or they don’t have many clients and are independently wealthy. My clients don’t pay me to hear about my problems, they pay me to solve theirs.

One point that is pounded in at club industry seminars is to never promote your accomplishments. Aside from the business essentials, no one cares how much weight you lost as a trainer, how much muscle you added with your own techniques, how far you’ve thrown a javelin, how many plastic trophies you have on your mantle or what you look like in a swimsuit. Clients are only concerned with what the trainer/coach can do for them. When I see a trainer’s bio with the word “I” used repeatedly, well you might as well pay a chimp at the zoo for advice.  The vast majority of people willing to part with their hard earned money are looking for someone to help transform their lives, not rent a friend or be someone’s ogling groupie because they have 20” biceps or washboard abs. Just because someone is good at a particular sport personally doesn’t mean they are a good coach.

Q3: Accountability just being in a group setting is key for me and I believe a lot of others that are part of MM Team Fitness feel like same about that accountability aspect. How do you do it for yourself and how do you keep motivated to get what you need in order to give us what we need?

Whenever I feel weak minded or whiny, with regard to anything especially food or skipping a training session, I remind myself of one of several principles I live by. Never ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. I can’t ask my clients to watch what they eat and be consistent with training if I am unwilling to do the same for myself.

Q4: Who supports the Coach?

A4: You do.



  • Guest
    Scott Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    Good thoughts...helpful. As I pull in to the Krispy Kreme with their HOT light on. Juuuust kidding. Eating cheese and an orange.

  • Danae Wassinger
    Danae Wassinger Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    Great Questions and great answers---Answered like a true coach!

  • Audrey Johnson
    Audrey Johnson Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    Great post. Appreciate the last part.. "Never ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself".

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