On Trainers and Training Tips #1-3

My name is David Viergutz and I am the owner of 1080 Physique. I cover through many outlets, topics in the Fitness Industry to include weight raining, nutrition, tips, tricks, shortcuts and the like. While content is easy to come by, applicable and reliable content requires an additional step, research. My approach to content will follow a similar methodology as my training when I am working with a client. Research and apply knowledge, followed by client feedback, followed by research and development, followed by client feedback and the cycle continues. Today’s topics are Introductions, philosophy and tenants and Training Tool Tips #1, 2 and 3.

While I try not to talk about myself, I believe it’s important to know the source of your information much as you should assess a personal trainer prior to handing them your money. I am a personal trainer, health and wellness coach, veteran, police officer and fitness professional. This all sounds great but the values and tenants I follow really paint a picture as to who I am. I believe in results, coaching a client as opposed to commanding and putting the personal back into personal training.

I heard this described most recently by a prominent figure in the fitness community as he challenged all personal trainers to move away from defining themselves as a personal trainer, and make the move to describe themselves as a coach. While generally interchangeable, I find my hat shifting from personal trainer to coach pretty frequently. When a client asks me about a particular muscle group and how to better define and grow that muscle, my personal trainer hat is on as I instruct and advise that client in order to provide the science and knowledge they need. When a client checks in with me and tells me about their week, and the stresses and the hills they had to climb to overcome those stresses, my coaching hat comes on. A personal trainer guides, coaches, instructs, advises and assists a client in whatever way they can to help a client achieve a particular goal. A personal trainer guides a client through a workout; a coach knows that client is a mother of three and struggled with maintaining her weight since her divorce. Be willing and able to switch hats. Basically, give a damn and listen to what your client is telling you.

 

Assuming every trainer is willing to shift focus and change hats, I’ll use the term trainer to describe both personal trainer and coach not to cause confusion. A trainer’s background is just as important as a clients. The client and trainer need to develop a relationship to determine whether or not the relationship will yield positive lasting results. The trainer needs to be able to demonstrate worldly experience as well as the ability to help a client adapt and overcome pitfalls. Your trainer should practice what he preaches.        

This not only shows the caliber of the trainer but shows the caliber of a coach. You should open a dialog with a trainer to determine what is and is not included in their programs. If a trainer promises the world and a shortcut to the world, turn the other way. A trainer should not make any unrealistic goals appear achievable; a trainer doesn’t sell snake oil. Hilariously enough, the fitness market is filled with quite a few of these items to include fit-wraps, teas, cleanses, shakes, pills and any supplement companies and the trainer willing to stand behind these products to make a quick buck. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. It always is.

A few tidbits while I am on the topic of choosing a trainer and understanding my philosophies. A trainer should assess a client and establish a baseline for training and nutrition with that client. I have an extensive questionnaire I use with my online clients and an extensive outline for the conversation with my in person clients. These assessments are often tailored and tweaked for individual clients to make sure all bases are covered.

A trainer should offer several paths to success. When I meet with a client, I ask them how determined they are to achieving their goals. Normally, the response I get is “extremely, or I’ll do whatever it takes”. From there, I ask another question such as “how much of your lifestyle are you currently willing to disrupt to achieve those goals”. The answer helps me determine a plan of attack for that client. This also allows a client to self-reflect and understand that when it comes to health and fitness. it is work. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it and I would be out of a job. Approaching training with the mindset of work in gets results out, a client is more likely to be consistent, and more likely to succeed.

 

Changing gears a bit, what’s in a name?

 

A common question among my clientele includes what is the meaning behind my business 1080 Physique.  I put this name into place as an opportunity to talk about my philosophy and remind me every day to practice what I preach. 1080 physique is not a resolution size on a monitor; it is a Police 10 code meaning “pursuit”. Summing up my training, Pursue. Never quit. Never Settle. Always make forward motion. Every step, even a single one in a positive direction towards your health and fitness goals is an accomplishment. Pursue healthy. Some trainers, I won’t name them, push you your weekly macros with a “good job” and draft their monthly check from your account while the client starves for feedback, When a client checks in with me, I focus on the accomplishments of that week and how we can replicate them into the following week. I also focus on the areas in which a client may have struggled and offer up solutions for managing those struggles. If a client is receptive to the possible paths, or maybe derives a solution of their own, that is forward motion. That is pursuing the goal. This is the client coach relationship.

 

While narrow in word count, my slogan, Pursue Healthy is a broad spectrum term for an overall goal. What is healthy? Is it managing blood pressure? Is healthy a certain body fat percentage or a certain pants size? Healthy is the direction a client needs to go. Always pursing it is the means. The most fun and challenging time for me is when I am approached by a potential client who wants to “improve their overall health”. This is a massive opportunity that trainers waste on their preconceived notions on what a client believes healthy is. Imagine how you would feel as a client whose trainer determined your own goals for you based on how they judged your appearance instead on what you told them. I talk to my clients and hear them out.

 

When overall health is brought up I sometimes help a client define their goal, something which they may not even know. This is an exciting time for me as a moment of clarity comes into the conversation and the client and I determine and set a realistic goal. From there, I develop a plan of attack. If a trainer hits you immediately with a training program or diet plan or supplement without any contemplation, research, comparison or pondering, turn the other way. Most likely you will be hit with a cookie cutter plan, something they have pre-prepared and send to multiple people that is NOT tailored to a client. This has hilariously become the norm and seen online or as “Training programs available”. An over saturation of unrealistic personal trainers claiming to have the magic potion or technique for rock hard abs who prey on the unsuspecting. Hard-work is preached and a timeline is established promising results. Again I urge, vet your trainer. If they are incredibly famous with massive followings how can you guarantee they will provide the time and attention required to implement, adjust, develop and expand a fitness and nutrition program for a massive clientele. The truth is most of them cant and the client suffers. Vet your trainer.

Take a difference scenario in which a more experienced client may simply be searching for a different training program or style. This is not necessarily a bad thing as I have experimented in powerlifting programs, hypotrophy, cross fit and the like. The inexperienced may see this as a “shortcut” plan. Assuming that following a particular plan will make any client look like the seller is asinine. Have you ever heard the disclaimer “results may vary”? This still applies here.

 Basically, a trainer should separate and understand that a cookie cutter plan is NOT coaching or personal training, it is a plan they have created that they are selling. If a trainer is offering coaching, revert to the information about defining a client’s goals. If you suspect your plan may be cookie cutter, your trainer may not care about your story or your trainer may be selling snake oil; confront them. Open the dialog again as you would anyone you're looking to purchase something from. They should be able to provide relevant information supporting their training style, their nutritional guidance or their endorsement. If they can't, take the entire picture in, because your trainer sucks.

 

Rambling aside, philosophy in mind, and goals defined, I give you the Training Tool Tips for this week, implement them if you dare.

Number one, Consistency. A simple calendar with easy reminders to crush a workout at some point during your day provides motivation to move forward in a positive direction.  A six pack may be the end goal but there is a road ahead prior to that end state. Focus on taking steps down that road. I agree with looking towards the horizon and seeing your goal in front of you, but by keeping one eye towards your goal and the other on the journey, the milestones along the way will make the destination so much sweeter,

 

Tip Number Two: Dedication + Laziness = Efficiency. My first coach taught me that.  I have my own goals in mind however I am extremely lazy. The combination of which results in efficiency. When prepping food, chicken begins to look scary after about 3 days. Use a slow cooker to cook your chicken without any of the work. About 4.5 hours on high. Drain. Shred. Hot sauce or BBQ to taste. Perfect every time. Utilize systems, trackers, timers, cook in bulk, prepare your meals ahead of time, plug your macros in early, pack your gym bag before bed, the list goes on. Get efficient at being lazy.

Finally, Tip Number Three: No gym session, cardio, boot camp, or meal is worth God and family. Make time for your family and for the Lord. Both of whom support you in your goals and journey and want the best for you. Show them you want the best for them as well.,

This episode really took off into somewhat of a rant filled with quite a few topics that I am passionate about as I watch cracker-jack box trainers mislead clients and give the industry a bad name. Understandably quite a bit of opinion is in this podcast, but i hope it is intuitive. A few takeaways from this. I’ll do my best to recap in no particular order.

1: Vet your trainer

2: know the difference between a trainer and a coach

3: set realistic goals and milestones

4: Establish a plan of attack

5: Pursue the goal

6: Enjoy the journey

7: Dedication plus laziness equals efficiency

8: If it sounds too good to be true, it is and your trainer sucks. If he or doesn't mention hard work. He/She sucks.

9: Healthy is work, there is no substitute

10: Make time for the Lord and your family.