Someone asked me what are “the most common questions/comments etc… you hear from clients?”… In the past 20 years I’ve probably heard them all… here are a few of the most common ones directed my way :-)
1) “I don’t have the time”
So much has been written about the “I don’t have the time” excuse for the very reason that lack of time appears to be a challenge for most of us. I get it, I have a family, two kids, work long hours, etc… etc… but considering that BBM Canada research shows, 18 – 49 year olds spend 23.3 hours watching TV and 17 hours surfing the web per week (even if both are done at the same time, is that even possible?) is the “I don’t have the time” argument even viable? It doesn’t matter how much I (or numerous others) repeat it, but there is no way to sugar coat it anymore, it’s just a case of making exercise a priority.
2) “I don’t want too much muscle”
I still hear this (mainly from woman) on an regular basis (I guess our industry is too busy selling get fit quick products and other programs rather than engaging in thoughtful education). In the past 20 years I have never heard a female client tell me (or any other trainer for that matter) that they’d put on, “too much muscle”. The time, energy and effort required to “bulk up” makes it a challenge to add muscle to our frames (especially for women who have less testosterone), so becoming “too bulky” is not an issue.
3) “I want to get more muscular”
Adding muscle is not just about protein powder and eggs. Yes, nutrition is very important but so is your commitment to exercise. Time, energy, and effort required to add muscle will bring your dedication to another level (as it will when wanting to lose weight as well). Exercise periodozation and the use of progressive overload principles will need to be implemented to ensure success and safety.
4) What should I be eating?
Bahahahaha! What is usually meant by this is “what should I be eating to lose weight”. That’s a loaded question I choose to address from another angle… The most important thing we should do is take the time to address and prepare our food plans. The large majority of us are aware of what is healthy and what is not (eg/ an apple for a snack is good suggestion, while a muffin is essentially cake without icing etc…). If we haven’t prepared for the day we often run out and grab a muffin as a snack to go with our coffee instead of an apple we could have just brought from home (for the record, apples are about 90 calories each vs a muffin which can easily run over 400…). In my opinion the absolute key with proper nutrition is being prepared.
5) “I have an injury… I can’t do that”
Rule #1: Do no harm, make sure that an activity won’t aggravate the injury (ie/ check with Dr. or Physio). From there, remember the options for exercise are endless. Your focus may change for a period of time (ie/ if you’re a runner with a lower body injury take the opportunity to focus on upper body strength, core stability, flexibility, etc…). The long term benefits of a varied exercise regime are huge, so make the most out a frustrating situation and remember that the proper exercises will help you heal faster.
6) I want to lose weight/tone up (or something similar)
This comment of course is probably the most common heard in fitness clubs. First of all, congrats for taking the first step. The most important thing I tell my clients is that if they implement and are consistent with a proper nutrition and exercise program they will be successful, they just need to be persistent. Our bodies want to maintain a state of homeostasis (in other words our bodies don’t want to lose weight) and it can take time to break this stalemate. Some research indicates it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks for the body to even begin to make physiological changes to external demands, so stick with it!
7) I read this article in “Today’s Blah Blah Fitness” magazine.
Great! Wonderful! Ask lots of questions… When clients ask me about something they saw on television, read in a magazine or elsewhere it makes me very happy. First, they are looking for more information to improve their knowledge. Secondly they aren’t taking everything they’ve heard as the 100% end all, be all… There is a lot of very good information out there, a lot of not so good information (aka, crap) and even more of the “in between” stuff (yes that’s true, but only under these circumstances…). So please, keep seeking out new information and keep asking questions.
8) I’m not feeling well, should I exercise?
Individuals who ask me this question are usually extremely dedicated to their fitness regimes and don’t want to miss a beat. When you exercise your body’s immune system becomes ever so slightly weakened. This actually helps improve our body’s defenses long term when we’re healthy, but not so much if we’re sick. If you have a chest cold, flu etc… I would recommend giving your body a break, it’s asking for a chance to fight off a virus so don’t utilize your body’s energy for other purposes or you may make yourself even more sick and take longer to recover.
9) I want to look like Channing Tatum / Kate Beckinsale.
If someone was to pay you 5 million dollars to be half naked on a movie screen for the entire world to see I think your priorities might change just a little. Add in, they will provide you with a full time chef/nutritionist and fitness trainer with a touch of digital magic to make your biceps bulge just a bit more and we might all look like movie stars. The reality is we don’t live in that world, nor would we want to (actors are often unhealthy in an effort to look the way they do, but that’s another topic entirely). I personally believe it always comes back to priorities and if earning a few million dollars for a couple months work…
10) I want Channing Tatum/ Kate Beckinsale
Comment # 9 always seems to lead to comment # 10… FYI: You’re on your own on this one…😉
Thank you everyone for your continued interest in my blog. For those who have been considering working with a personal trainer (and you happen to live in Vancouver) I am offering a first time introduction to personal training package. Click on this link to my website for more information or to sign-up!