This topic has been on my mind for quite some time now. I had to learn a lot to be even somewhat successful being a trainer/strength coach, and actually, need to continue to learn more due to the ever-changing science of health & fitness. However, I feel like the life lessons I’ve learned along the way have been the most surprising and impactful aspect of my career, which is what I wanted to desperately share with the world.
The very first lesson I want to write about is the importance of INDIVIDUALITY.
We are all told of this concept when we are young: “Be yourself,” or some variation of it. Since becoming a trainer I’ve learned to fully appreciate the validity of importance of individuality, and I want to explain such appreciation through some examples.
In the health & fitness industry, you can say that everything we suggest is a guess. Through scientific research and anecdotal studies, the guess becomes closer to the truth than not. But still, in the simplest terms, it’s a guess (I hope I’m not losing any clients over this, LOL). With that said, as a trainer and coach I’ve learned all these different principles, exercises, theories, protocols, and etc to be able to provide the best coaching possible. When a client comes along and inquires about my services, I sort out those principles and theories and formulate a “program” to fit the client’s needs and wants. To the finish line, right? Unfortunately, no! More often than not, the “program” will need to be adjusted…2 weeks later, a month later, maybe even a few days later. This is where the importance of individuality comes in. Everyone is different, and the “program” is merely a reference and the initial guide to help me and the client understand better of where we should start and head toward. The actual path to the goal is never as simple as just following the written program. That’s why I don’t believe in magic programs or the perfect programs because no such things exist. Rather, I believe in dedicated coaching that results in not only the integration of research, anecdotal studies, and experience, but also being aware of the individual and the uniqueness of the person.
Speaking of scientific research, I’ve realized that the data & conclusions gathered from all the studies are all averages of the test subjects. What I’m saying here is that if there are 100 test subjects in a research the data is only good as the average of those 100. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely respect the value of research and will continue to support the research community and the work they do. However, the data is still the average. Why do I bring this up? It’s because of this quote I heard on a podcast, “Are you average?” We are not averages of a group of people. We are all unique individuals and will vary from the “averages” in countless ways.
Wow, I probably sound so critical. Well, I’m not trying to be. All I’m trying to say is that in my years as a trainer & coach, the individual differences were noticeable everywhere and I needed to learn and be aware of that fact in order to become the best coach I could possibly be. But I don’t think that principle only applies to the health & fitness industry. I think it’s critical to realize that we are all different and learn to be self-aware in order to find what’s right for you. Just like your training program may differ from mine, your path to happiness, career, business, and all other aspects of life should be and will be different from mine as well.
Gary Vaynerchuk said, “What works for one person doesn’t work for everyone. I want people to learn to be at peace with themselves, to understand what they can offer, because everyone’s got something. The key, however, is learning how to find it.
Self-awareness can help you do that.”
Go BE YOURSELF!