Whether a head trainer, administrator or visitor to a gym there is a sincere need to look out for each other and don’t feel intimidated to ask for help too.
The recent story of Daniel Hardman suffering life-changing spinal injuries after completing a set of incline chest presses when the bar fell is one such situation. Other gym members had to perform CPR and this safety net of people looking out for Mr Hardman made a difference.
Applying technologies incorrectly can create physical injury, most of you may have witnessed or felt this at your time in gyms and these can be as subtle as overloading with too much weight causing a pull, sprain or tear but there is a more dangerous injury that is habitual to the fitness industry that we all have the ability to reduce and even eradicate if we work together.
Mental Health was claimed to be a reason why people go to the gym. To clear their minds, socialise and often “escape” their work or life problems. In many cases this was true for the individual but also the environment of a gym can be intimidating for the very people who need it most, those needing to get fitter and more active.
Starting with the initial assessment, there is a trend of rushing through this moment in order to get on the treadmill and putting the client through their paces. Assessments need to take time and focus on a valid result, not the “best” result and this time to care for the clients actual needs is another form of looking out for their wellbeing. Why, because people going to the gym to change their lives are setting goals, measurable goals that will influence their confidence and mental health.
When you poorly assess a baseline, you are beginning a mis-leading program and the outcomes can be catastrophic. Have you ever seen an obese client just lose motivation and not come back to your sessions after a few weeks? This is often due to a lack of empathy and knowledge of the individual needs and togetherness in interpreting the data in their unique journey.
“10,000 steps on a broken ankle is not active living”
Traditionally gyms would offer simple body composition or BMI and many now offer a Bioelectrical Impedance Analyser in the corner of the gym but the training to dive deep into this data is almost non-existent in the trainer environment and therefore misunderstood by the clients. We have many examples of this that we can share. The 2023 (post-pandemic) world is much more innovative and next-gen trainers are upskilling to better understand the terminology of technology and how they can integrate their expertise in a more personalised way for each client rather than the cookie-cutter approach.
Foundation of function is as it sounds, the foundation. Not only physically but mentally as when your client can move well, they are able to move pain-free and this has enormous asset for a long-term successful program.
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