Looking back about 3 years on my training, I can now see a few ways that I have provided my clients with excellent service. This is the follow-up post to How I Have Not Served My Clients Adequately. Below is a list of 5 things I regard as having been the right things to do:
1) Established the importance of following and recording effective, sensible and sustainable eating behaviors. With body composition, food is key. Good quality whole food, eaten in small amounts every few hours will do more for your appearance than anything else you will do. That’s all there is to looking and feeling amazing. You stay on track by recording what you eat and reviewing this with someone else every few days who asks you to explain and justify your actions.
2) Trained the mid and low traps, along with the rotator cuff muscles to improve shoulder stability and posture. They may be stronger than they need to be, but their shoulders are drawn back and down, so now only my most athletic and strong clients make any reference to neck pain – which is muscle pain associated with lifting or performance. Also, all of my clients report no or a big reduction in shoulder pain; which is fantastic given that there are 3 clients who came to me with chronic shoulder pain being a key area to address.
3) Taught my clients to work almost as hard as they can. All of us have an upper limit when it comes to how hard we can work but very few of us know just how hard that is. Most clients underestimate their upper limit and pull back the intensity prematurely. After repeated efforts, we begin to drive harder and harder, because our fitness improves and because we realize that we can drive harder. Eventually the client finds this upper limit without external motivation and at this point they become trainee or an athlete, no longer a client.
4) Being present and engaging. We share the moment of working out. They know that while I may not be suffering with them, I’m well aware of what is happening with their bodies and we work together to get the most out of it. I firmly believe that you raise the performance of a client when you engage and keep them in the present moment. If that means I need to challenge them on what is going on in their mind when we are training, I go at them about that. I want and they need their bodies to do as many things correct as they can, so emptying the stress tank before training can go a long way in freeing-up mental energy to focus on form and breathing.
5) Providing good value for their money. People come back to train because they believe that their money is being spent wisely. You do this by delivering what you have agreed to deliver in a caring and fun way. You do this by being honest with people and getting them to question their motives and actions. And when we are not able to get the results the client is looking for, I tell them and we reevaluate the training relationship. Accepting when you don’t have the answers or when your solutions are not working helps to keep the trust alive and, while it may cost me clients, it helps to generate referrals.