As a new trainer diving head first into the world of fitness coming from a background in bodybuilding I had a very rigid view on how to “get fit”. First you have to eat six meals a day and workout ten hours a week. Then you need to make sure you get your fasted cardio done in the morning and come back to the gym at night for your daily workout session. Now, when you get there remember today’s workout is all back focused and we will spend one and a half hours developing every single muscle in your physique.
Man, was I wrong. And for sure I had a rude awakening when I was dealing with clients coming to me for back problems, or knee pain, or being so afraid to be in a public gym setting because of their insecurity. So, as any good trainer does at some point in their career I asked myself “how can I help these people coming to me?” That ended up being more of a colossal question than I thought. But, it made me take a step back and really figure out how I could develop a plan to help everyone I came in contact with in this business.
So, I’m sure you’re wondering what the conclusion was that I came to. Well, it’s simple, the most important thing I can do as a trainer is improve the quality of life of the person in front of me. How do I improve quality of life in my clients? Well, it varies from person to person. When I sit down with a prospective client I ask them “what is your why?”. I really want to know why they want to see a personal trainer. For some people they want to get big so they can get girls. For some people they want to build the confidence to look in the mirror. For others it’s could be just being able to wake up pain free in the morning. Now, once I can understand why someone wants to see me I need to take into consideration how busy they are. Some people can only make it to the gym the one or two times a week they see me for a session. Others simply lack the motivation or confidence to workout on their own. There have even been certain people that I train who physically couldn’t work out on their own. So this presents a new challenge with every person that I see. But, I believe there is one universal concept in improving quality of life in every client that I have.
Making people STRONGER. For those guys who want to get built for the ladies? Building muscle is a slow and very delicate process. It takes a lot of time and dedication to build a physique. But, if I help these guys add thirty to forty pounds onto a big lift their confidence will shoot through the roof and it will make the process of building muscle seem a little easier. For the busy mom? As a trainer I can harp on people over and over about meal prep and eating healthy, but some people just lack the necessary time and energy to make their diet “perfect”. So even if that mom who is struggling to lose weight has an off month at least she can walk out of the gym still knowing she accomplished something because she got stronger. For the older client who is in a lot of pain? Strengthening the body is one of the only things that actually remedies pain. Cortisone shots might numb it. Heating pads may dissipate it. But, teaching your body to strengthen the areas that need work is the only thing that will eventually eliminate it. For the average person? Becoming strong is an extremely rewarding process. I’ve had a ton of clients who have been apprehensive to certain lifts in the gym. But, I’ve eventually talked them into doing them. And now they can’t wait to get in the gym and lift more weight than the last time. It’s amazing to see the confidence level change in these people just because I showed them that they were strong and that they could become even stronger. That is why my number one core value in training is to make people stronger.
So, let me sum this up so that it all makes sense. As a trainer I can only control one thing; how strong the person in front of me becomes. Outside of our sessions people may have a thousand obligations. Or they might lack the discipline or willpower to follow a healthy eating regimen or making it to the gym outside of our sessions. But, if I can show people that they can be strong. And I can reframe their perception on training. It really makes everything go a lot smoother. They get stronger and become more confident. Once they are more confident they are more likely to put more effort into getting even better than they already are. My philosophy is if the person that I’m training walks out of my studio feeling better than they did than when they came in then that session was a success. If you feel your best how much better of a husband, wife, mom, dad, brother, sister, worker, friend are you going to be? Life can get rough sometimes, but I love that I can go to work and show people that they’re strong enough to get through it. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.
My name is Patriel Dunford and as the owner of Infinite Fitness my main goal in life is to spread good advice in the health industry and help people live healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives.