A "scaredy cat" is someone who by definition is excessively fearful, easily frightened, or a needlessly scareful person. If you research the definition a little further, a scaredy cat is someone who has a fear and seems to be AWARE of being fearful of that particular person, place or thing.
So my question to either you as a personal trainer or a personal training client who may be reading this post is do you think you or your personal trainer is a scaredy cat? As a personal trainer, do you even recognize that you may be a scaredy cat? Let me explain......
I see many personal trainers in the industry around the Easthampton, Ma area who shy away from getting to the bottom of why their clients may not be getting results. How do I know this? Because I speak with them. I don't see other personal trainers as competition, I see them as a resource to make me better. Maybe a conversation with them teaches me a good lesson or maybe just the competition against them fires me up. Some personal trainers are new to the industry and that is certainly okay. We all have to start somewhere and new trainers can be really good. They are excited, passionate, and are new to the field who come right out of the gate with new ideas and energy for their clients. The scaredy cats I am talking about are the ones that avoid the reasons why their clients are not getting results.
A couple good examples I can come up with are ( 1 ) lack of results or plateaued fitness levels due to workout design ( 2 ) Lack of results due to poor nutrition advice or guidance and ( 3 ) lack of results b/c of not holding their clients accountable. Let's start with Number 1...
Lack of results or Plateau due to workout design I am going to give up a little secret to all the clients out there that may piss a couple trainers off. Getting clients results in the first 30 days is easy, it's effortless. All you need to do is one of 2 things. Either get them eating healthier or work them out more than they have before they started with you. That's it. After 30 days or so is when the real work begins and trainers get scared. After 30 days you should start keeping some track of results, either in your head if you have a good memory or better yet in a journal. This way you can track what you are doing and adjust when you are not seeing results or a plateau hits. Plateaus happen, it's part of training but you must know how to adjust and get around them. By not keeping a journal it is easy to make up reasons why your not seeing results. The first step to becoming a better personal trainer and stop being scared if your clients don't see results is to find a way to measure what they are doing and why. If you never come up with a customized plan for your clients, record workout data and analyzing it time to time, then how are you going to grow as a trainer and do better. Don't be scared of lack of results for your clients. If you try your best and give 100% effort, you will learn and soon be a great trainer. Furthermore, your clients will recognize your efforts and stay with you for the long haul. So, if you are a client ask yourself if you have a scaredy cat trainer. If you are a personal trainer, are you scared of lack of results with your clients and what to tell them? How to adjust their plan? Don't be, it is all part of the learning and growing process.
Number 2.....Lack of results due to poor nutrition advice or guidance. The number one thing a personal trainer should know is that nutrition is the key to results. Bottom line is that you may get stronger and maybe have better balance or be faster. But, you will stop losing weight, decreasing body fat or looking better in the mirror at some point if your nutrition is not a top priority. Is your personal trainer speaking with you about nutrition? If you are a personal trainer, do you talk to your clients about what they are eating, take girth measurements and/or body fat? Do your clients weight themselves every couple weeks to see what is happening? The bottom line again comes back to the point of having some sort of tracking system. Some personal trainers are scared of taking a measurement b/c of the fear that the next time they take them they may be worse off then when they started. Others may be fearful of talking about nutrition b/c of lack of knowledge. This is okay. Learn how to take measurements, figure out how to adjust minor things in diet and workouts to get positive results. You can always refer out nutrition if it is an area that may be too advanced for you to dive into. This is all good and part of the process. You are never going to know everything so part of you growing is knowing when something is out of your scope of work. Don't be fearful of negative results for you clients. The only way to get better as a trainer is if you're faced with situations with your clients that challenges you to figure out how to deliver better results.
Number three......lack of results b/c of not holding their clients accountable. Have you been faced with a situation with any of your clients that they are just not doing what you are saying? Maybe they travel multiple days during the week and they always have that excuse of they were out of town and did not workout when they finally arrive back and have a session with you. Maybe they constantly say they are going to do things and do not. Do you have a client that never misses a session but doesn't see results week after week but they keep coming to you anyway? These are all situations that you need to step up and ask the hard questions. Traveling for work is no excuse. There is always a gym in the hotel and/or a workout to do based on cardio and bodyweight. Start facing this scenario head on and not accepting this silly traveling excuse. It's no different than when you are at home. Take the time and workout. It is your job as a trainer to set a plan in place so this gets done. Clients who constantly say they are going to do something and then do nothing are either lazy or over analyzers. Do you have any clients who write down the plan and then never put it into action? Do you keep giving them great handouts or advice and it doesn't get implemented? This is frustrating and happens all the time. You need to ask these clients the tough questions of why they did not get it done. Most of the time with these types of clients it is that you are giving them too much. They have busy lives and by shoveling a bunch of new information and tasks to complete, they are overwhelmed and don't know where to start so they do nothing. Start with one thing, once they have that down then proceed with the next. The worst thing you can do is be scared of that tough conversation and keep going with the same plan that didn't work in the first place. A different scenario is your client attending sessions consistently but always seeming to stay at the same fitness level, bodyweight, or bodyfat. These clients are most likely not doing the right things out of the gym. You need to figure out what that is. Is it bad eating habits, lack of workouts while they are not doing 1-1 personal training with you, poor sleep, hormonal. I can't tell you how many times I hear the words I EAT HEALTHY. Okay then, what do you eat? This response will open up your eyes or better yet have them write a food journal for 3-4 days. These are all questions you need to ask. Remember, you don't need to know everything. You will find out and/or be able to get them to someone who does. Furthermore, you will learn and know how to deal with it better the next time.
I know I was a scaredy cat when I first started but I also knew that I wanted to be a great trainer. Every question or problem I had with a client I researched or reached out to people with more experience or expertise in that area. Don't be scared of simply saying....." ya know, I am not sure about that but I will certainly find out." There is nothing wrong with an honest approach. Your clients will appreciate the efforts you put in, not the efforts you don't. Those non efforts of those of a scaredy cat.