The four pillars to their success. During my time experiencing Vision’s Rookie Trainer Program, I was given the opportunity to review the Four E’s in depth and to assess the systems and structures that are currently in place to promote them. At Vision, we focus on the underlying reasons why people behave the way they do, which helps us understand how they got to their current situation and then to help design meaningful and effective solutions to improve their health and fitness.
Firstly, we have EMOTIONS. What is it that makes people behave the way they do? What values do we each grow up with? That we carry with us into adulthood? What do we learn from others? And more importantly, do these things serve us in a way that enables us to be the best versions of ourselves?
People seek the help of a health and fitness coach for several reasons, one of the main reasons is to lose weight. We need to know the WHY they feel this is something they need to achieve, beyond just aesthetics. This is where emotions come into play. Getting to the bottom as to why a person wants to make a lifestyle change and what has held them back previously. This can be confronting, but nevertheless an important step in making long-term, meaningful lifestyle changes. As trainers, we focus on building rapport with a client and in time, hopefully our clients are willing to open-up, allowing us to set a strong foundation for setting meaningful goals.
I consider myself to be an empathetic person. I enjoy learning about other people and inspired by the things they have accomplished and the challenges they have worked through. A trainer and their client are a TEAM. Both learn from each other and work together to work towards and achieve their goals.
Next, we have EDUCATION. There are 168 hours in a single week, and trainers are lucky to spend 1 of those hours with their client. The rest of the time, the individual must navigate their way through temptation and peer pressure, to not fall back into their old habits. This is where education can help.
Seminars, nutrition sessions and shopping tours are some of the mechanisms in which information is provided to clients. Trainers can share their knowledge and provide clients with the information they need to make informed decisions.
I enjoy learning new things and sharing this knowledge with others. Even if I don’t have the answer, it provides more opportunity for developing my own knowledge base which will surely come in handy at some point in the future.
EATING comes next. Many people think that if they spend one hour in the gym every day, they will get the results they desire. Or, they may believe that a personal trainer will do it for them (this is a very common belief). However, if their goal is to lose weight and they’re still eating in an energy surplus they will not lose the weight, regardless of the amount of energy expended. Similarly, if the goal is to maintain muscle mass, but they are not eating the right kinds of food, the right amount of energy to sustain or grow new tissue, then this could affect their results as well.
We are what we eat. Body composition is directly influenced by a client’s nutritional intake. It’s our fuel, fundamental to muscle repair and recovery and regardless of what our goals are, we all need to ensure we are consuming the right foods to ensure our bodies are performing both in the gym, during everyday activities while also supporting the achievement of a client’s very specific goal. If you’re struggling with your results, talk to your trainer and start with your nutrition.
Eating habits can be difficult to change. Many of us grew up in households where we were provided a large portion of food for each meal. We were expected to eat everything on the plate because “there are starving children everywhere and you will not waste the food that has been provided to you!”. Not to mention that our social gatherings often revolve around getting something to eat and/or drink. I would never tell anyone not to eat a piece of cake at their friend’s birthday party, but I am more than happy to help them prepare for such social events in order to ensure they don’t go overboard and stay on track. I also love to share my own ‘tips and tricks’ when it comes to making changes to their diet.
Finally, we have EXERCISE. It’s best for every individual to find the activity they enjoy doing because they are more likely to stick to it. Physical activity can be fun and when you are surrounded by enthusiastic, supportive, like-minded people it makes it so much more enjoyable. Personally, for me exercise is an escape. Whether it’s lifting heavy weights, running out a tough HIIT session or hiking a nature trail, I feel completely at ease. I love how the “happy hormones” start pumping. I’m always so excited to see what others like to do and how they would like to push their minds and bodies. I feel a real sense of pride and achievement when I help them to see the value in movement, whatever it might be.
For me, after extensively reviewing the four E’s, I have come to realise that they all come down to these two E’s – Everything and Everyone. The structures and programs in place offer a very holistic experience, not only for the client but for the trainer as well. Through these events and tools, there is so much opportunity for physical, emotional and intellectual growth, not to mention the support and encouragement you get from everyone in the Vision community.
Personally, I have learnt so much and it doesn’t stop. Every day I learn something new. I learn from fellow trainers, I learn from our clients, and I learn from others in the industry. Knowing what it is that we are working towards, really makes me want to be great at this work and the only way to do that is to keep learning and to keep asking questions. For me, education is key. The more we know, the more we can share and the more we can learn through that sharing.
Vision Personal Training is more than just butts on benches or numbers in a system. I’ve gotten to the point where I chat to clients like I would a close friend, and I love that.