As a personal trainer, I encounter an incredibly diverse amount of personalities. Introverts, extroverts, people with all the confidence in the world, and people who need help building that confidence. I often joke with my clients that my job is half personal trainer and half psychiatrist! We help build a healthy lifestyle, but we also develop incredible relationships with our clients, which is why they share so much with us. This is all a part of the healthy healing process. As a result, our clients gain emotional strength as they gain physical strength.
One of my previous clients, Ralph, is the best example I can share of a complete transformation. Ralph was a pretty shy guy who never had a grasp on his health. He and his wife struggled with weight their entire lives and didn’t even know where to start. When he came to me, he was at about 315 pounds. And that was ok, I can work with that. The bigger challenge was getting him to get comfortable with me and what we were going to be doing. For any of you who have been in a really good workout program, you know you tend to leave your comfort zone. For someone who is completely foreign to a gym, this is an extremely hard process. Just getting yourself to go to the gym takes a lot of strength. So adding more to a demanding program is a very delicate process.
It took a lot of finesse at first, with Ralph. We literally had to get him comfortable just being in the gym on a consistent basis. I started out teaching him basic exercises, and putting them into circuits. We would also add in some basic, steady-state cardio training at the end of each session to get him used to the different equipment. This stage of training is VITAL to the Trainer-Client relationship. You aren’t just creating a program at this point, you are creating rapport. If your client doesn’t trust you, they will never follow your program.
Luckily, this is the first place I saw advancements in Ralph. This quiet guy was able to hold conversations with me, respond to my questions, as well as ask questions on his own. So he was actively learning. This is HUGE. I can talk fitness with someone all day but if they aren’t an engaged part of the conversations, not much sinks in.
Within a few weeks, Ralph became comfortable with the gym. This was now a part of his routine. Physically, he was also ready for advancements. I now began teaching him compound movements- Squats, Deadlifts, Clean to Press… Heavier, total body movements burn more calories than movements in isolation- circuits or not. This is where we really started seeing results. Pounds were dropping and his smile became a well-known face around the gym. I kid you not, within a month he had the nickname, “The Mayor” at the gym. This guy was the friendliest person you’ll ever meet and he now had the confidence to approach other people and start conversations- with strangers! This was not the case when he first walked in the door, but after seeing what he could do, he had a whole new mentality. He was showing the world that he could do it.
We started off working together 2-3 days per week. But once he started seeing results, he became addicted. 5 sessions per week was our new schedule. This guy couldn’t get enough. 5 pounds a week of weight loss was nothing special, it was an expectation. Plenty of weeks exceeded that, but very rarely, if ever would we fall beneath that threshold. Ralph was a worker, and our program was on point. Tabata became a staple in our routine- 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 minutes of an explosive motion. It doesn’t get tougher than that. There were no challenges I couldn’t throw at him. Now THAT is the recipe for success. Put your head down and work and the results will follow!
By the time Ralph and I stopped working together, he was at 245 pounds- a much healthier weight at about 6 feet 2 inches tall. But that wasn’t the biggest part of his transformation. Yes, 70 pounds is impressive, but that wasn’t all. This man grew emotionally more than I have ever seen before. He would barely say a couple words to me, HIS TRAINER, when we started. By the time we finished, he knew everyone in the gym by name. Even the owners called him The Mayor, of their gym! But Ralph started off just like you. Maybe he couldn’t find the time to start, or maybe he was scared to start. He could have been a little intimidated by the whole idea of it and maybe afraid that he couldn’t be successful. But he DID start and he WAS successful. Anything is possible! If you set your mind to it, you can do it too!
There are a lot of things you can take from this. The point I want to drive home is that it doesn’t matter where you start. If you have a goal, if you would like to be somewhere other than where you are, you just have to start. It doesn’t matter where, it matters WHEN. Now. There are no excuses for waiting. If it is that important you will find time to make a change. A change in eating, a change in lifestyle, or a change in exercise. Ralph’s biggest challenge was starting, but once he did- well you just read what happened. He got his life back. He became a happier, more confident person. Isn’t it worth it? How much money do we waste every day, every month, every year on useless things? Wouldn’t you like to invest that money into yourself? Creating a better you.. Of course you would. If you saved the money that you usually spend on fast food or eating out, you could afford a personal trainer, or a meal plan, or an online training program.
It’s up to you. Only you can make that choice. If it’s important enough to you, you will. And you’re already in the right place. We offer personal training, group training, local bootcamps, and meal plans, all right here! Check out the “Services” link on our site to get started. The change starts here!
Until next time,