Warning…..this may get controversial.
So, before I go on, let me say that I DO honestly believe there are some great trainers and coaches in the world….but I do encourage you to shop carefully.
“Over 300 reps and I won’t be able to walk tomorrow, but I’m sure it will be worth it”….these words greeted my newsfeed as I opened my Facebook page. I simultaneously cringed and gagged. Is this what we have become?
Is pain the only way to progress?
I’ve been a professional personal trainer for a decade now (I’m knocking on 40′s door) and currently hold 7 personal training certifications and specializations. I value knowledge and know beyond all doubt that I still have more to learn. I’ve personally lost over 100 pounds, but still need to learn about proper weight loss practices. I competed in a figure show, but will not call myself a competition coach. Doing doesn’t make anybody an expert….becoming an expert makes you an expert!
All over the internet I see the same thing spat out from fitness “professionals” time after time:
- no pain, no gain
- it’s supposed to hurt
- train past the pain
- you have to want it
- go hard or go home
- get up and train
- train hard
It all reminds me of a TV persona (yes, that’s pretty much all I think she is) that crashed onto the gym floor with little more than a local cert many years ago…
Where did this overdoing it come from?
Well, there are a few theories.
First, when obesity hit new highs in the States, people usually saw one of 2 things: this was a scary epidemic, and it was also a great opportunity to make some money. So trainers and coaches came out in droves with little more than a single certification and a bad attitude…because that’s how we get things done. The Biggest Loser isn’t to blame, but you can read the latest about past contestants HERE.
As jobs in health and fitness rose, so did obesity. In other words, the demand was there and the workers showed up, but the crisis kept growing.
I think it’s a bit more complicated than may meet the eye; however, if we can all attempt to turn to the same page, we might start getting somewhere.
- Personal Trainer is a relative term to me now. ANYBODY can call themselves a trainer, just like your kids football coach probably doesn’t have more than an English degree and memories of glory days on the team.
- People are SUPER impatient. Those who seek out trainers want results and they want them yesterday. So, trainers try to make results faster by amping up the plan before they should.
- Trainers have a weird “Anything I can do I’ll force you to do” mentality. If your trainer did an awesome high rep workout yesterday, you may be subject to the same brutality even if you’ve only been training for a month.
- We equate PAIN with results. Constantly breaking the body down and not focusing on recovery will not only stall results, but could possibly make it IMPOSSIBLE to reach your results.
- Most don’t have a clue how to accomplish certain goals, so they employ a technique designed to continually change the routine and keep the body “confused” because that has become a cool term.
MOSTLY, this phenomenon derives from unrealistic expectations and overpromising from trainers.
So, is there a way to get on track and get what you want?
And it’s not as complicated as you think.
Here are 3 quick tips to reach your goal, sans the pain (because , no , it is NOT supposed to hurt):
- Set realistic goals for both short term and long term. Loads of goal setting help is HERE.
- Consistency is KING!!!!! In order to reach any goal, you must be consistent. If you cannot walk, potty, drive or use a phone after a workout, something is dead wrong.
- Focus on proper warm ups and recovery. ALL trainers should make sure their clients know how to properly warm up and how to recover from exercise.
Very last I would like to give you some encouragement: if you are seeking a trainer, don’t be shy to ask for credentials AND have them explain their training philosophy. If you are a trainer, have some pride in your craft and invest in education that will enable you to specialize. Also, seek out other trainers who can help build you up and hold you accountable.
Remember, nobody is impressed by an injury. Instead of posting gut wrenching workouts that tear us up, try staying consistent in your work ethic and letting a pain-free body speak volumes for yourself and your client….I dare you