3 Year Update – Cycling and Personal Training Certifications

It has been about 3 years since the post CanFitPro – Certification I Now Hold; a post about getting my personal training and indoor cycling certifications. For those who have been waiting around for an update, here it is:

I love personal training. It’s easy for me to get lost in the coaching, the conversation, whole experience of it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with a lot of knowledgeable people and have had a couple of very significant mentors when it comes to understanding how the body, the brain and the mind work together to create the potential for optimal health. I’m able to find a flow state when I’m training and I find it very rewarding to see and coach to efficiency a movement pattern that isn’t effective. In the same way my clients body, brain and mind work together, mine do as well, to identify and correct / improve the needs of these clients. If I didn’t need money, I would work cheap at a gym and coach movement, health and performance. What I do has value so I won’t give it away, but I don’t particularly like doing it for money either. More accurately, I don’t like needing the money I get from doing it. That part sucks.

If I’m a good trainer, people don’t need to see me for very long – ideally 25% of the year once they have established some self sustainable good habits. My role is to update their programs, monitor form and movement patterns, as well as nutrition, address questions and tackle some of the performance issues. When we do work together, it’s to recondition their intensity and establish a new baseline. It’s easy to forget how hard you can work and it’s even easier to remember again with couple of weeks of one on one training. But that’s it once the proper foundation of knowledge, behavior and attitudes has been established. Being successful means constant selling and I’m tired of selling a service that, to be considered valuable to the customer, needs to be understood and followed 90% of the time by THEM. All I do is create a training experience and try to foster a mental attitude that leads to positive changes in their behavior but the result are 100% the consequences of their actions.

Given what I now know about myself I can see that this doesn’t work for me. I need for success to come from my effort, not my intervention in someone else’s life and the direction of their subsequent efforts. And I can’t go back to doing that now because that would be transferring responsibility of my success onto something that I don’t control. My money needs to come from something entirely outside the fitness field.

I love parts of the group cycling. I teach a 90 minute class on Friday nights and there are times during the week that I dread the thought of it. I do the choreography and music for the class so I get to pick songs that I like. Most of it is club music remixes and I’ve had to learn some sound editing to create profiles or specific length intervals and cut out swearing. That’s fun! Music makes me feel good inside and it can be fun to try and get a jump on the next big hit, playing it out before it ever gets traction on the radio. I don’t dread the work. I’m burning about 1100 calories in 85 minutes, average heart rate of about 83% and a max of 88%. I hold back on really taxing my heart because pushing as hard as I can will leave me ruined for the rest of the night and Saturday. I dread the 10 minutes surrounding the beginning of class because the class doesn’t have a big following; there can be 3 or there can be 15. It’s my class. I created everything about it and it’s the longest one on the schedule at the club. It’s the expression of what I know about cycling, training, coaching and instructing and it can make me feel down right pukey if my mind becomes a rubber ball of “what if no one shows up” type of thoughts.

The truth is that I don’t teach a fitness class, I lead a training session which happens to have some cool tunes and some heavy beat pop music. We don’t really yell or cheer, we don’t really clap, we just work our tails off and go home exhausted. Other than working hard, working them hard, there isn’t much to feel about it. It is very different from the RPM classes I teach because I’m encouraged to have more fun with them and they are about half the length in duration.

These two certification opened my life to a number of fun and important experiences, all of which have been critical at improving my awareness of who I am and what I need in order to be happy. Without them I would still be looking for a lot of things that I have found over the last 3 years!