This is my first post on this site in over a year. I had moved my content to my other site, zmoore.com, and wanted to start writing more for women and beginner trainees - I focus on the basics that I believe will allow them to make positive change in their bodies and lives. I cover nutrition, behavior change, exercise, body image issues, etc.
However, since I am still working on the floor as a coach six days a week, I have a lot of things I want to share with other trainers/coaches and more advanced trainees.
Therefore, this is going to be my outlet for that content. I hope you enjoy!
I have made many mistakes as a coach, but one that I want to discuss
today is the mistake of making my clients believe they need to move
perfectly and strive for symmetry.
Yes, this is a great goal to
shoot for, but if your clients believe they need to strive for
perfection then they will often be afraid to add weight or increase
their intensity for fear of doing it incorrectly.
for beginners, an extra load can challenge them enough to build
stability so that when he or she goes back to a lighter load they will
be able to handle it much better.
Now there is obviously a fine
line to this. I think you always need to ask yourself: What is this
person's injury history? What are his or her goal(s)? How good is the
technique? What is their rating of perceived exertion?
I think many times a client just needs to be told
"It looks good. You are doing great."
An example of this are
clients that have been or are in pain. These individuals tend to
overthink when performing an exercise and constantly seek feedback on
Many times the best answer for these people is, "It looks good. Here is one thing I would think about for the next set..."
it looks terrible, then you obviously need to cue them or stop them, but
if the movement looks decent (8 out of 10 on technique) I usually tell them
good job and possibly give them one cue to think about for the next set.
People with pain need to feel confident in their movement. They often do not
trust their body and are constantly thinking, "Does this hurt, does this
hurt, does this hurt?" They are waiting for pain to happen. Your job
is to get them out of their heads and get them moving more comfortably.
this will mess up their motor program slightly because they are
practicing it in a non-ideal way, but if they are not going to get hurt
then maybe that is what they need to hear that day.
another example: If a client comes to you after a very stressful day or
week then making them feel like they are doing something wrong is not
the best thing for them. Yes, our number one job as coaches and
trainers is to keep them injury free, but if they are not performing the
movement in a way that will hurt them then maybe we should give just try to make them feel better.
They will remember moments like these. "Last time I went to the gym after a bad day I felt _____."
How do your clients feel after they leave from a session with you? This is an important question to ask.
is the number one thing that will help a client see results and making
him or her feel good can be an important component of this.
the things that Charlie Weingroff says is that you need to put your
clients in a position to succeed. I like this idea. When you program
for someone take this into consideration.
You may have in mind a
really fancy exercise that will target all of their asymmetries and
dysfunctions, but how will they feel performing it? Will they feel
I realize that a big part of our job as coaches it to
educate our clients on why they are doing a certain exercise, but
sometimes this still does not work. Clients want to feel like they are
I would love to hear your thoughts on
this. I have been reading more and more into change psychology, and I
believe our programming and coaching should sometimes change to our
clients' needs and mindset for a particular day.
A lot of trainers and coaches
are now talking about perfect movement and how to go about achieving
this, but at the end of the day, we still need to give our clients a
challenging workout that they feel successful with and feel like they
have accomplished something.