Sunday, February 13, 2011

Personal Trainer - or Lifestyle Coach??

There's a new kind of personal trainer that seems to be developing in Holland. Lifestyle coach. The definition of this kind of coach is still evolving, but I'm certainly intrigued.

A lifestyle coach is someone that has a more personal relationship with the client, almost like a fitness therapist or counsellor. The lifestyle coach works to support a client as they make changes in their life. They are usually going through transitions, from burned-out to healthy, from unfit to fit, from fit to fitter, what-have-you. I like the sounds of this.

I love the part about having an ongoing relationship. I am not that interested in just coming up with the same-old same-old routines for people, I am interested in helping THAT person reach HIS goals. And the only way to do that, is to take the time to develop the relationship and learn what his goals really are.

I say really are because people are full of baloney, especially when it comes to fitness. They have no idea how to define a goal such as 'I want to be fit'. I can't say that I have any answers, because of course the answers need to come from the client. And that takes time for them to figure out. People have no idea what they can do, and are surprised at how strong they are when they are pushed. They are also surprised at how tiring and time-consuming jumping in gung-ho can be. Some, like me, are extremely slow to learn. I would never intentionally lie, to a trainer or to myself, but I continually over-estimate my stamina and ability to recover, and underestimate the value of slow-and-steady-wins-the-race.

Another benefit to developing a relationship is that the groundwork is laid so that injuries due to bad form or over-training can be avoided. The client is a partner in reaching his or her goals, not just someone who has asked your professional advice. I like the sound of that.

Something else that sounds very attractive to me is that the target market for a lifestyle coach would be people going through change. They would specifically be looking for someone to help them make changes that they are struggling to make on their own. So I could be a great support, temporarily.

I'll have to check it out!

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