Don’t avoid weaknesses

I think it’s hardwired in our DNA, but it’s really difficult to accept your own weaknesses, especially when it comes to the gym. However, if you’re able to learn how to identify weakness within yourself, you will gain a better understanding on how to develop into a more well rounded athlete.

This introspective pursuit is something that is essential to make progress in any aspect of personal growth (emotional, social, etc.), and it isn’t any different when it comes to our physical development. In fact, this is one of the main reasons that you need to surround yourself by good coaches that will monitor and assess you. From those assessments, your coach can program specific exercises to combat your weaknesses and correct them.

Even with the best coaches in the world, the biggest hurdle will be your own ability to accept weakness as a part of the process. If you let your ego get in the way and avoid focusing on your weak points, you will remain limited in reaching your full athletic potential. It’s easy to focus on what you’re good at. Real progress is made when you focus on things that don’t come as naturally.

Finding a weakness is a GOOD thing.

As a coach, I get really excited whenever I identify a weakness in an athlete. It means we have discovered a path to furthering progress towards potential. Strengthen the weakness, and you’ll move with slightly more efficiency and power, making you a better athlete as a whole.

Don’t avoid uncomfortable movement patterns. Instead, focus on resolving the issue that is causing the discomfort. Target the weakness until it becomes a strength, then move on and find others. Embrace the weakness, because it will allow you to become stronger.

5 reasons you should hire a Personal Trainer

Do you look at yourself in the mirror and see room for improvement?

Have you been looking to lose your excess belly fat, but really have no idea where to start?

Have you ever joined a gym, but quit after a few weeks because you lost interest and motivation?

There’s no denying that hiring a successful personal trainer is a surefire way to get into great shape. In fact, it’s the duty of your trainer to make sure you are consistently seeing results. If you want to get in the best shape of your life, you absolutely NEED a professional coach to guide you along the way.

Here are 5 reasons that make hiring a personal trainer completely worth it:

1 – Accountability

This is quite possibly the most important role of any coach. Let’s face it. There will be times where you find it tough to get to the gym. There will be days when you’ll feel the temptation to find an excuse to skip your workout. Besides, you’ve been so crazy busy lately with school/work/etc., right?

This is where a your coach comes in.

In order for you to make any progress, you must be consistent. Having a set time scheduled for your workout, just like any appointment, will enforce a commitment to your program. You will know that, in order to cancel your appointment, you will not only have to make an excuse to yourself, but you are going to have to contact and convince your coach as well.

If your coach is worth anything, he or she will be attentive to your attendance and will ensure that you make up any workouts that were cancelled with a substantial reason. If your reasons seem like excuses, or are occurring too often, it will also be your coach’s duty to discuss this with you to help better understand the issue.

All of these situations will serve to benefit you and build a more consistent habit of training. Building a solid, lifelong routine of strength training and conditioning should be the ultimate goal. Strength training and conditioning will help you get the most out of your life.

2 – Professional program design

One of the most difficult challenges about strength training is figuring out what plan or program you should follow. In a world full of social media fitness “experts”, it’s hard to skim through the sea of information. It’s difficult to decipher which exercises are best for you, and which ones are just plain garbage.

With a personal trainer, this problem is solved. Your coach will select exercises that are not only effective, but they also minimize risk of injury. There are plenty of fancy exercises that seem intriguing when you see them on Instagram. It’s your coach’s job to sift through the dirt and decide which exercises will be best for your program.

Your coach should have plenty of real-world, hands-on experience on top of a solid foundation of formal education in exercise science, physiology, and/or biomechanics. Certifications are sometimes a great way to distinguish a skillset. However, in the end, your coach’s experience needs to be more than what they learned at a weekend seminar. They should have hundreds thousands of hours under their belt working with athletes and clients. If they don’t, they need to be working as an assistant under someone who does.

This background experience and education ensures that your coach is capable of designing and executing a well structured program. This program will be individually customized to make sure you’re reaching your specific goals. A competent coach will have a plan in place every time you set foot in the facility. Your coach will also reevaluate and modify the plan when needed, making sure to keep you progressing.

3 – Guidance and supervision of technique

We all know that safety is high on the priority list (possibly #1) when it comes to the gym. If you’ve ever seen some of the ‘gym fail’ videos that circulate on social media, you have a pretty good idea of some of the more extreme injuries that could occur if you don’t know what you’re doing. On the less extreme end, if you’re not careful, you can develop some pretty serious pain from performing even the most basic exercises, slightly wrong.

If you hire a qualified and knowledgeable personal trainer or strength coach, you can be sure that he or she will be correcting your form and monitoring your technique throughout the entire workout. If you put yourself in a posture that compromises the integrity of your movement during an exercise, your coach will correct your posture to eliminate future problems. Your coach will make sure that you are performing every exercise with proper technique, which will maximize your results.

4 – Motivation during workouts

Sometimes it is difficult to find the motivation to fully exert yourself during a workout. When you’re going through a workout alone, it’s easy to skip out on exercises that are not favorable. A good coach will help you avoid these hurdles.

A strength coach will know just how to urge you on and get you pumped up. Throughout your workout session, your coach will read your body language and, if necessary, provide the right motivation to keep you moving. Everyone is different, but an exceptional coach is someone who can find out the most effective way to motivate each type of person.

There’s a fine line between a training session that is just ‘alright’, and one that feels like you gave every ounce of effort possible. If you have the right trainer, you will get the most out of your strength and conditioning program, instead of just going through the motions on your own. Coaching makes a huge difference in your results.

5 – Mentorship / Friendship

This benefit may be a little on the soft side, but it still deserves a mention as a key benefit to hiring a trainer. If you’re serious about making fitness an integral part of your life, you will need a solid mentor to rely on for advice along the journey. A good coach will be there for you to answer questions, give suggestions, and provide guidance to assist your progress.

There is a reason it’s called a ‘personal’ trainer. You will spend a good deal of time with your coach during training, so it’s really important to build a solid, trusting relationship with them. If you don’t connect with your coach, the relationship isn’t going to last very long, and the chances of success will be minimized.

During your sessions, you will experience a wide range of emotions. In my experience, personal training even tip toes the line of psychological counseling, as most clients will open up about their most personal issues during training. A good coach will be able to listen well and give friendly, empathetic advice, all while providing a killer workout.

Effort determines success

Are you giving 100%?

I want to talk a little about a broad topic that applies to basically every aspect of daily life, but is especially important in the world of fitness and performance training. The topic I am referring to is effort or the amount of work you apply to a given task. Effort is not the only key to success (in anything), but it is one of the single most important determining factors. If you’ve ever looked back on a failure, more often than not, your degree of effort is probably to blame for the shortcoming.

With the new year upon us, you (just like the rest of us) have probably set some goals for yourself. Regardless of what those goals may be, they are not going to just fall into your lap. In fact, whether or not you achieve these goals is going to depend directly on the amount of effort you have put into the process.

Here’s an example:

Imagine two identical twins who are the same height and weight (far fetched, but humor me). The twins decide to join a gym with the goal to lose 20 pounds and get into good physical shape. They follow exactly the same training program and strictly adhere to the same meal plan. Given this scenario, you would think that these two individuals will have the exact same results, right?

Wrong.

The only thing that is going to determine the outcome of this scenario is EFFORT. If twin #1 comes into the gym and pushes his/her limits during each and every training session, while twin #2 goes through the motions, who do you think will see more results? Sure, they will be doing the same workouts with the same trainer, but their results will completely different in the end. Twin #2 will probably make excuses why they didn’t see as much progress as their counterpart, but in reality, the effort just wasn’t there.

Don’t just ‘go through the motions’

As I said earlier, this topic applies to basically any aspect of life. Whether or not you are achieving what you want in your own life can be directly attributed to the amount of effort you are willing to devote. Just showing up is not going to cut it. You actually have to try your hardest!

Want a better marriage? Put in the effort. Want to be more financially stable? Work harder and smarter. The list goes on and on.

Conclusion

I could write about this topic for days and still have endless examples of how your effort directly influences your results, but I think I’ve made my point. The truth is, when you are looking to achieve something, you better be willing to put forth your absolute best effort, or else you will be left with nothing but excuses. These excuses may make you feel better about missing your goals, but underneath it all, you’ll know that you could have exerted more effort to make it happen.

Keep this in mind for your next training session. Don’t just come in with the goal of completing a workout. Instead, try to get the absolute most out of the session that is humanly possible. Don’t hold back, or worry about failing. Push yourself to your limits and results will follow.

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