Brash Essentials: Practice What You Teach


There is a trend among trainers and coaches to give orders, to ask of clients what they have never felt, nor understand.  Why should a client listen to a fat and out of shape trainer who can barely do a chin up himself or get through a metabolic circuit without vomiting.  I know trainers who love to ‘kill’ clients, make them suffer to the point of near collapse just because they can.  That doesn’t make you a good trainer, that makes you an ass.  When it comes time for them to train do they push themselves that hard? Yeah right.   

We are suppose to be the example, if we can’t do it, who in their right mind would listen to us?!

Believe me, there are trainers out there who hate to train just as much as you do.  There are trainers out there who find it just as hard to start a training program and stick to one.  They have little tricks to cover up the fact that they are not in top form.  They may wear baggy pants to hide their skinny legs, sweaters to hide the diminished muscle tone in their upper body or vests to cover up their newly formed 1 pack.  The greatest trick of all is performing 2 reps of an exercise when demonstrating to clients.  Performing an exercise in perfect form is easy when you only need to do 2.  

In no way am I saying a trainer has to look like a fitness model or perform like an elite athlete to be a great but….what I am saying is you cannot expect others to do what you tell them when you yourself cannot be bothered.  

Trainers do have tough schedules especially those without a home base, who travel to clients homes, but there is always time to fit in a workout, that is what we tell others isn’t it? No excuses?

As trainers we’ve studied human anatomy, biomechanics, exercise science, nutrition, program design, motivation, and we continue to educate ourselves on the latest and greatest exercise techniques, but what good is that if we do not first apply what we’ve learned on ourselves? Consider yourself your first client.  Everything you learn should first be applied to your own training.  Never, ever have a client do anything you’ve read or watched on youtube before you yourself trying it and perfecting it.  I will repeat that- Never, ever have a client do anything you’ve read or watched on youtube before you yourself trying it and perfecting it.  Key words there, PERFECTING IT.  You should be an expert at every exercise you program for a client.  Meaning you should be able to perform said exercise with precision from the beginner level to advanced levels. 

Practice what you teach.  Your clients will respect you for it.  It’s one thing to be able to give people orders and sound like you know what you’re talking about, it’s another to actually show them.  Be the example.  Everyone knows that oatmeal for breakfast is far better than a coffee and a muffin.  It’s not hard for a trainer to tell someone exactly what they should be doing/ eating- but are they actually doing it themselves?  Rhetorical.  The answer sadly is not all.  Example:  I can tell you to floss daily [because I’ve heard it a million times] but do I?  Rhetorical. 

Answer these questions [may be rhetorical]:  Would you go to a dentist who didn’t take care of his/her own teeth?   Would you take health advice from a doctor who was over weight, smoked, had high cholesterol?  Would you take financial advice from someone who’s been bankrupt three times?   Would you be comfortable knowing your child’s teacher could not spell worth a dam dame  damn?

Erase Doubt.  Suffer with them.

 A sure fire way to erase any doubt about the ability of a trainer is to train with them.  From time to time I will workout with my clients, either 1-on-1 or in a group class.  They love it.  Seeing you sweat it out along with them makes it worth every penny.  This allows them to see what perfect form looks like through a whole set not just 2 repetitions.  It gives them something to strive for, they may not tell you, but hopefully watching you perform at a higher level gives them some added motivation to succeed.  


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