I am a personal trainer by trade. Truthfully, sometimes I feel more like a gardener. I have been a full-time personal trainer for 12 years. Over the course of my own fitness journey, I have learned a great deal. As a dominant introverted sensor, I have been careful to store accurate and realistic information from all of my sessions over the past 12 years.
At this point, I want to acknowledge something. I completely accept and I will regularly speak about the benefits of other personal trainers. I, in no way, want to make it sound like my way is the only way, or that my way is better. I believe each person coaches and teaches from their place and that the systems they use are valid and commendable. This is what I have learned from my experience, and it works for certain people at a certain place in their fitness journey. Ok, now I will continue on with my rant J
As a result of storing the data from my sessions, and thank goodness for technology because that has made my process of sorting much easier. Actually, the process by which I sort the programming is pretty cool. I use this app called Scanner Pro on my iPhone to take a PDF picture of each program at the end of the day. After I take the picture I send it into an individual file folder that I created for each client within Evernote. At the same time, after all of my client’s programs are sorted into their individual folders, I send the day’s workout as a whole into a Dropbox folder. As you could imagine, the storage of Dropbox and Evernote has helped me to sort and store a lot of data. At the same time, since I have tracked sessions for one individual client, then I have learned a lot about the personal and physical development of a client.
There are a couple of key things I have learned about my clients as a result of this process. Since I sort them, them being the programs, into each client’s folders each day, then I get the chance to revisit and add notes based on the session. Through this simple act of adding a note and reimagining the session helps me to retain a good bit of knowledge in an organized fashion. Since I care so deeply about each client who allows me to serve them, this process has given me a great peace of mind in knowing that I do everything I can to serve them with the best service I can provide. The insights I have learned from tracking the development of hip mobility, strength gains, and the personal struggles with the progress of change has helped me professionally as well as personally.
See I struggle with many of the same issues my clients do. I go through cycles of feeling out of control with my coffee consumption, or I feel like I keep myself back from being my best self, or Tomorrow I will begin a new ___ and this time I’m really going to stick to it! I think that is human nature as I have experienced. We are trying to do the best we can with what we have. On one hand being critical about what still needs to be accomplished is a healthy part of positive growth. On the other hand, criticism gone wrong, can simply point out what is wrong and still needs correcting. In practice, that would look like pulling apart the parts of your body that are not in good proportion to the other. My inner thighs and saddle bags look terrible. When you forget to concentrate on your process, my exercises are built to help me correct what I feel is important. My program is built to use the muscles around my hips and through measurement I can reasonably determine my program is working.
It’s natural to want faster progress. There is nothing wrong with a dose of realism. At the same time, if I saw my saddle bags and then I started to starve myself, we have ventured into different territory. I would no longer be moving from a positive or healthy mindset. Since I would want to immediately effect my body, and I gravitated towards starvation as the tactic, the unhealthy or toxic part of the mindset is in thinking that works, unless proven to be statistically reliable, and in not combining a healthy movement plan.
Health has a dark side. Exercise has a dark side. It is undoubtedly helpful to have someone on your side who is protecting you from yourself and helps you to concentrate on the process and a person who keeps you grounded. In the end, your path towards health is a journey that will be filled with ups and downs. I consider my personal training career to parallel that of a gardener because of the Curation facet. I know the signs of health in someone’s speech and their movement the same way a gardener can tell the health of a flower. I am developing and I have developed reasonable skill in knowing when to yell at a client, and when to help them to celebrate their successes. I practice the art of helping a client to frame their results and to frame their mind heading into each exercise set. Again, my way is not the only way and other trainers and coaches are equally excellent in their part of the health spectrum. For me, I enjoy being accurate and having a high degree of probability in my suggestion and through that mindset I have developed my own set of techniques to help people get there. As we all know, there are multiple paths to there, wherever there is. For me, helping people to become strong mentally and physically is a prime part of how I choose to serve the clients who allow me to help them.
In the end, the takeaways from this are:
- I track my clients programming over a period of time and that helps me to trend their progress.
- By tracking each session I can start to see patterns in their movement and that helps me to program for the next session.
- There are a variety of training styles and disciplines that will get you results.