Paying to be worked out and pushed to your physical extremities is sort of backwards. After all, I don’t do the work for you. Your desire to exercise can easily be remedied by some powerful algorithm on YouTube or an Instagram model.
Thanks to you not always doing that, I can still make a living. What makes working out with Jeff at Elite Bodies worth your dollars? Well, allow me to make my case.
I shake a nerve or two before I conduct each class.
My thoughts are,
I) how do I get you comfortable as quickly as possible so you can perform an exercise?
II) How do I make my classes entertaining? ( It’s a sort of compulsive need to impress on my part).
III) How do I calibrate challenging you to the peak of your physical capabilities and overwhelming you.
For the most part I say I do a very good job of that. I watch for 3 things that help me make informed decisions as to how far to push you: Level of fatigue, stability and form
Your capability to perform an exercise despite strength and injury constraints rely heavily on how fatigued you are. Either from a previous exercise or a previous set. During class, there are phases when I need a client to be working within a relatively comfortable level of fatigue. Other times, it calls for you to be gasping for air. That last point is not intended to be a deterrent to working out. I believe that every workout should pose a challenge that pushes you past some physical and other times mental bounds.
When you lift weights, I want it to feel “comfortably hard”. I typically judge this by studying the joints bearing the weight. Too unstable and I would recommend that you reduce your weight. If your joints are stable, your form is good and the weights seem to move swiftly with no perceived strain, I would recommend going up a few pounds in weight.
Form is tricky. At its core, its just a coordinated movement. How does a person learn to do coordinated movements when they are unfamiliar? The mantra of most trainers is that, you don’t let clients perform an exercise at all if it’s not textbook. I see it a bit differently. My approach is to create awareness of muscles and joints. Case in point, muscles like lats (latissimus dorsi), glutes and trapezius are hard to activate on their own. Those muscles typically don’t contract individually. They contract as a consequence of the contraction of another muscle. I teach my clients the proper orientation their body needs to be in order to activate said muscles without overcompensation by others. Then I use different tools to communicate clearly so that she can make the necessary adjustments. Sometimes the client goes “ah, I feel it" other times, they don’t. That’s when I reinforce repetition under controlled circumstances. I could write another blog about my philosophy on form but I think you get the gist.
Also, I’m a goofball, I treat fitness as play time. My classes are a great opportunity for me to throw different moves at you. Some may have rhythm to it, a tinge of dance. A bit of crazy. I’ve been known to go rogue in classes before. That’s my X-factor. That part is non-negotiable. It’s beyond fitness. It’s a sprinkle of my personality on your fitness regimen.
Lastly, I typically don’t want a very defined, professional, client- trainer sort of relationship. Professionalism (in its colloquial connotation), is quite boring to me. I like to know about the people I’m working with. What a typical day is like in their lives. Hobbies, pet peeves. I want to engage you outside of just muscles. It helps me develop some intuition as to how you like to be treated, how to motivate you effectively. It’s a group class but in this sense I tailor it specifically for you.
It goes both ways, I should add. The best business and personal advice I've gotten have come from my clients. I genuinely love coming to work with you. This is what keeps me coming back refreshed for every session. This is the advantage I have over an online trainer, a virtual gym or any other fitness facility.