So.. before I start – I have to give credit on this one to our gym manager Luke Curran. He wrote an incredible post in our trainer group about how we should be caring for our newer members and making sure they’re ok.
(as in like the mechanics of how to do it… not that “you should probably START caring because you don’t know”, because we do!!!!!!!)
The content is mostly his, I’ve just rejigged it a bit to make it more email friendly.
STARTING AT THE START
We’ve a lot of people join recently who’ve never ever set foot in any sort of gym before and are quite nervous and skeptical about the whole thing. It’s really important that these guys and girls who’ve gotten over whatever fear they had holding them back get a positive experience FAST.
If that sounds like you, you’re probably quite nervous and don’t know what to expect. You might think everyone else is a pro, and will laugh at you for not knowing what to do. And if we can’t help you realize from your VERY FIRST SESSION none of that is true, we’re gonna lose you as you run for the hills back to “safety”.
Obviously as part of a group personal training session you shouldn’t expect one to one attention, but for newer members we always make a special effort to make sure they get looked after well. Sometimes that means taking 2/3 of ya and creating a mini class within the class where one coach looks after you, and another looks after some of our more experienced members.
We’ve had days where a new members first couple of sessions have turned into basically PT, we’ve consoled them after they’ve broken down into tears and helped them smash out easy reps on movements they couldn’t even contemplate performing before they joined us.
BUT.. even tho we can give you an initial push, we can’t put a saddle on and give you a jockey back the whole way. Of course, no matter how hard we work for you – the motivation must come from within.
And the truth is – no matter how hard we try it won’t be right for everyone. And that’s ok.
Don’t want read the article? You can just watch the video here
Here’s some things we’ve noticed helpful when dealing with newer members;
The programs we write on the board are literally like trying to read the matrix. Telling you to do 4 sets of 8-15 reps at an 8RPE means absolutely nothing when you don’t even know what a set or a rep is. You need to be walked thru the entire process step by step.
When we ask someone if they understand what we’re saying, they almost ALWAYS just nod their head and say that they do. But they don’t really. Right? You just don’t want to seem like you’re hassle and don’t want to feel guilty by asking for it to be explained again. You THINK you should get it first time. And that’s not true.
(I’ve solved this one personally by asking people to explain back what I mean in their own words if I’m explaining something new)
You probably won’t know any of the movements or exercises we’re talking about. And just shouting them across the room at you will do nothing other than panic you and make you feel stupid for now knowing what we’re talking about.
Initially, if we have to get you the weights and move the equipment for you so that you can do an exercise, and show it to you 74 different times – that’s completely fine. Shouting that you need to put the j-hook in hole 7 and safety rack in hole 12 is absolutely useless when you don’t know which is which. It’s so much easier just to SHOW you what to do, and then let you do it 🙂
You’re probably gonna need to be checked in with 2-3x more in each class than our more established members. That might just be a “what set are you on?” type check in to make sure you’re moving thru the workout. Sometimes we’ll challenge ya and dig a bit more to make sure you’re ACTUALLY ok rather than just passing us off.
We’ll demonstrate everything, but it also makes sense to hang around for a set or two to make sure you REALLY get it, and to watch out for the common errors we see happening again and again.
Similarly, you’re not training with us so we can impress you with how much we know. You don’t need to hear the correct anatomical terms for EVERYTHING. Sometimes if we just point at a muscle and tell you to feel it there, or #broscience something to make it easier to understand – that’s good enough. You’ve enough shit to worry about already.
For most coaches in the gym, it’s easy to forget, and hard to understand, just how new and unfamiliar all of it is. And just how OVERWHELMING this influx of information and sensation will be.
We’ll be teaching you how to move your body in ways you never thought possible, and probably helping you to come to terms movement problems and physical weakness you’ve avoided for years.
All of that is stressful, and it’s our job to manage that and help you overcome.
We’ve an entire section on things NOT to do with new clients and less experienced members, and I’ll share that with you tomorrow. But for now, male or female – think about this.
Does anything I’ve said their resonate with you?
Have you been putting off training with us because of those fears?
If you have, I hope it’s clear to you now that WE GET IT.
There’s litreally nothing we haven’t seen in our private intro sessions. We’ve had people unable to squat to a chair. Men and women months, and sometimes years away from a full push up.
We’ve had every time of injury imaginable, and found solutions to all.
I’m confident that if you give us a try, we’ll do the same for you.
Head on over here to see exactly what you’ll get, and when our next available intro sessions are. You can book em all online right now 🙂