I’m not yet a parent, but I remember my childhood.
Being taught right from wrong.
Learning not to touch the hot saucepan.
Always holding mum’s hand when crossing a busy road.
Fundamental elements of being a child, those three points….
Also fundamental parts of being an adults these days, it seems.
I have seen a lot of clients over the years. I have seen a lot on social media, I have heard a lot from chatting to mates who are in the industry; basically, I have a reasonable idea about what’s currently happening in the health and fitness space…
And it’s slightly concerning.
There is an alarming number of people requiring an alarming amount of hand holding, mollycoddling, and just plainly requiring a pseudo-parent to ‘help’ them with every single minute aspect and detail of their health and fitness journey, whatever it may be.
Yes, the role of a personal trainer/strength coach is certainly to motivate, educate and inspire clients to evoke self-belief and change in themselves, even when they don’t believe it is possible.
I am not disputing that, at all.
But there comes a time where people need to take some responsibility for their own health and fitness.
Your coach isn’t there to knock the beer out of your hand on the weekend, or to swap the pizza for a salad. You need to take responsibility for that yourself.
Your coach isn’t there to drag you out of bed and force you into a car to get to the gym. You need to take responsibility for that yourself.
Your coach isn’t there to book your physio appointment in for you to fix your crippling back pain that you’ve been complaining about for two weeks. You need to take responsibility for that yourself.
You coach isn’t there to spell everything out for you, and hold your hand the entire way.
Coaches should provide every conceivable tool required for change, and be enough of a motivator to encourage you to pick up the tools, and begin using them… yourself.
“I’m so annoyed that I haven’t hit my weight loss goal” – a majority of people.
Also a majority of people “Yeah woops sorry I slept in this morning lol, no no I didn’t have THAT big of a weekend I only went out Friday and Saturday night, can we do heaps of HIIT this week I really need to make up for the weekend, oh also can you text me to remind me to pack my gym stuff the night before, also do you think you can give me a wake up text tomorrow morning I will probably miss the alarm haha!”
Your personal trainer/coach is not your PA, nor are they your Mum/Dad, holding your hand while you cross the metaphorical road that is your fitness journey..
It’s about time you started taking some responsibility for your OWN health and fitness.
Ultimately, it’s your body and your life, not your coaches.
Now, if you’re reading this and thinking “Shit Sean sounds like he just doesn’t want to help anyone, and is encouraging all coaches to become lazy and not care about their clients”, you would be incredibly wrong.
I care deeply about every single one of the Kinetic family, and care deeply about every single person out there who is attempting to lose weight, or build muscle, or who is just generally pursuing a health and fitness related goal.
I am simply encouraging all coaches to empower their clients to start taking control of their own lives, and encouraging all clients to do the same.
The reality is, clients will not be training with a trainer/coach until the day they die; so they need to develop the internal ability to take responsibility for their own decisions, and own lives.
I believe it is the role of the coach to help each and every person they come into contact with to develop that ability.
I am also well aware that people lead incredibly busy lives, and for many, coming to the gym is their time to just switch off and not have to think about anything; just be told what to do; and I absolutely understand that.
Turning up and not remembering the warm up or the difference between a reverse lunge and a split squat, that’s not a huge issue.
But needing constant reminders to turn up, constant reminders to work at a high intensity, constant reminders about making the appointment with the physio to help alleviate the lower back issue that you have been complaining about for weeks.
That IS a huge issue.
It’s quite a simple equation: prioritise your health and fitness, and make decisions accordingly, or don’t. But if your health and fitness isn’t a priority to you, don’t complain when you don’t get the results you were hoping for.
Coaches are many things; mentor, confidant, counsellor, a shoulder to cry on, friend, inspiration.
One thing they are not, is your parent.
Start taking responsibility for your own health, and watch what happens when you do. Shit, you might even see some real results!
Hand holding is for kids crossing the road, not for adults.