How training is more than just a workout

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The quest to unlock human potential is never-ending, and who understands this better than a Personal Trainer? Not only must you consider the body, but also the mind, to help motivate and guide people to reach their health and fitness goals, pushing them beyond their comfort zones to become the best versions of themselves. But how do you train yourself and individuals to be great not only on the gym floor, but in every part of life?

While knowledge and training can make us all better versions of ourselves, there is no one universal method. Instead, it’s understanding what works for you, developed through trial and error, which enables you to be successful on your journey.

You are powerful and come fully equipped with the tools you need to excel at all levels. It should be the goal of every PT to help their clients access and amplify these tools both internally and externally.

Resistance training to gain strength is key but also for overall mobility and endurance, so it should play a major role in your programming. My experience and research both show that those who engage in resistance training are less likely to have mechanical issues as the years go by compared to those who did not engage it.

Optimism, with a realistic view, can push you through the pain barrier of a workout, which helps you to flow once the action or muscle is required in everyday life or competition. Positive self-talk and repeating affirmations, especially when the going’s tough, will help you to jump over any hurdles, not only in the field of training but also in everyday life.

Our mind and potential have no limit. By letting go of who we think we are, or who we wish to be, the more we can experience the depth of the mind. Mindfulness is the best practice for allowing you to remain present within the time you are in. It settles you mentally, spiritually and physically which, in turn, helps you to become a better human being and improves your ability to overcome adversity and challenging surroundings.

Recovery from training is key. Manage your load, but don’t forget to include some downtime to allow you to capitalise on the load benefits. Ensure you sleep for 7-9 hours each day. Also remember that food is essential for growth, maintenance and recovery, so be sure to fill up your body with the unleaded fuel or diesel that it requires! As a PT, the nutritional education you provide to your clients is just as important as the training. This is what ultimately leads to lasting behaviour changes and improving people’s lives long term.

Of course, it’s better to eat healthily all the time, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself in moderation. You ate bad? So what?! What are you going to do about it?

Always look to consider small milestones in your journey and celebrate them as if they were the major outcome. The process is just as beneficial as the achievement at the end, as it holds individuals accountable.

When looking at the success of others for motivation, don’t put aside their failures; these are the stepping stones to success. Also, rather than seeking success to be financially well-off and powerful, we should attempt to redefine success to be wellbeing (health), wisdom (connected with decisions), wonder (sense of mystery of life) and giving (reap and share rewards). Being able to connect with ourselves is key, but we don’t do this enough. A lot of the time we’re concerned with working out 100% of the time, but it’s important to spend some days 100% dedicated to rest. Recovery isn’t separate from training, it’s a crucial part of it. As a PT, it’s important to understand your clients’ lifestyles to create the best working relationships possible and to help them mix work with recovery.

Everyone is different. Find out what lights a fire inside your client and build a unique programme around it. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Establish why you’re doing it and how you’re going to do it, then create a process to reach your desired outcome. And remember, consistency is key! Enjoy the process! The journey is the reward! Be proud of where you are and be proud of just having the commitment to show up! All key messages to share with your clients.

Success is achieved through the investment in your training. Apply the same dedication to your lifestyle and both you and your clients will be happier and healthier for it.

By Ola Sogbanmu, Personal Trainer at URBANFITNESS London

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