Tuesday, January 4, 2011

10 Workout Strategies for the Fitness Professional

10 Workout Strategies for Fitness Professionals
By: Justin Levine, www.livecfalife.com, www.justintrain.com

After a forum topic discussing how fitness coaches get their workouts in, I decided this would be a very informative article. Practicing what we preach might be the most important aspect of our job. Nobody wants a deconditioned and unhealthy fitness coach telling them how to get in shape and what foods to eat. We must take the time to focus on ourselves and get fit. Our schedules are busy, we spend so much time helping others and educating ourselves and yet I show up to seminars and see many fitness professionals out of shape. This is breaking code for our profession. So this article will give 10 strategies to assist the fitness professional get workouts in during the week.

1. Schedule them in. Just like we are anal about our schedule of clients we must be anal about scheduling our individual workouts. Look at your schedule on Sunday night for the upcoming week and add your workouts to that schedule, just like if it was an appointment. And don’t say you don’t have time. Make time, just like we would tell our clients. We would advise our clients to do this same strategy so practice it yourself and get your training in your schedule.
2. Keep your workouts short. Tabata! That is about all I have to say for this one. If you are so cut for time then hit 2 rounds of Tabatas. Perform a short dynamic warm-up and then go for it! It will take you less than 15 minutes to perform this workout. Just like we would tell our clients, No excuses!
3. Set a workout goal. Alwyn Cosgrove gave me the idea to set a workout goal throughout the year. How many workouts can you consistently get in the upcoming year? Be realistic with yourself. Every time you complete a workout, write the number in big red numbers on a calendar. Go hard to hit your goal.
4. Train for something. 5k, 10k, half-marathon, triathlon, or a fitness challenge. These are all fabulous motivational tools to spark some motivation to get your training in. Show your clients that you not only have the drive and discipline to become a great fitness coach but you can get out there and compete as well. I know running or other endurance sports are not for everyone but you can find an activity that you might enjoy and then you train to become the best you can be. How about Crossfit games? JK
5. Train with your clients. Coach Boyle mentioned that he performs airdynne sprints with his clients after their workouts. This is a great way to build relationships with your clients. Throughout the year I advertise “Workout with Justin” nights. Clients sign up to crank through a workout with the owner. A great way to bond with the members of your facility. Again, building relationships with clients should be a priority.
6. Get a training partner or group. Again something we always recommend to our clients. This is a great way to keep you on your training schedule and keep you accountable. It makes for a fun and inspiring training session and allows you to strive for higher results just like the members in your facility.
7. Workout early. Most fitness coaches are at the gym at the crack of dawn so this may not be an option. But if your schedule allows for a few mornings a week to workout early, it’s a must. Get your day started on a positive note and check it off the list by working out early.
8. Train with other trainers. Set-up a training session with the other trainers of the gym. Show the clients and/or members that the training staff is fit, in shape and works hard. Once a month, instead of our usual trainers meeting, we workout together. This builds staff unity and connection.
9. Foam Roll/Stretch Class. I just started this 2 months ago. Pick a day where your schedule is lighter and allows for this type of class. I chose Sunday evening at 4:00 pm. I invited my clients, family and friends to this active recovery class and we spend time rolling, stretching and getting the body prepared for the upcoming week. Eventually I will charge $8.00 for this class but I am getting people interested first. Sometimes during the week it is hard to find time to work on our limiters so having a scheduled class can be a great way of getting it in.
10. Have a goal. Do you want to lose body fat, increase your deadlight, run a faster 5k, or improve your tight hips? Spend time writing down your fitness goals so you can have direction and motivation.

Remember this is a priority and a perk of our profession. We get to stay in shape for our job! So as an industry, let’s all work on improving ourselves, not only professionally but athletically and physically as well. You will see an improvement in your job, your energy and the way you interact with your clients.


Chandra Jones MS, CSCS, USAW said...

These are some great ideas, some of which I haven't thought of. I like the "workout with the owner" day and the foam rolling class ideas. I start training clients usually between 5-6 AM, and again in the PM until around 8, so getting in my own workouts beforehand early in the morning hasn't been comfortably feasible. This gives me some fresh stuff to tinker with.
Thanks-great post!

JustinLevine said...

Thank you Chandra. Keep reading!

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