Who remembers when they first learned to drive?
For me it was from the summer through fall of 1995. I was 19 at the time. Both my dad and older brother had their own cars, but for whatever reason refused to teach me. So with the money I had from my part time job I paid for my own lessons.
Twenty driving sessions and a decent road test later I was officially licensed by the state of New York to operate a passenger vehicle. However I was not able to obtain my first car for another year and a half. It took even longer than that for my dad to soften up and finally allow me to drive his car!
The point is this: I had to learn before I operated. We learn before we “do.” You make a plan before you execute. We crawl before we walk. You get the idea.
But many people don’t take that approach to their fitness. I have seen many people cannonball into it without any rhyme or reason. In the gym that I operate, as an indie trainer, I offer one complimentary session to the new members. It’s a helpful service for the member from the gym, but it also allows me to prospect for new clients. On several occasions though, when the member hears about the free session and meets me I get some variation of this response:
“I think I’ll come to the gym for the next few weeks and then I’ll be ready to set something up with you.”
Sadly, often times I never see that member again! It kind of breaks my heart sometimes. That person may have been mentally back and forth about the issue and finally found the courage to step into a gym to sign up. They could’ve been feeling overwhelmed by not knowing what to do. Plus, seeing all that elaborate equipment and a few wannabe alpha male muscle-heads can be a little intimidating. So as a result many regress back into not taking action.
Bear with me here…..I’m not trying to sound like a pretentious know-it-all fitness professional here (which I am, but let’s pretend I’m not) but already as it is, the people that are committed to frequent exercise are doing something incorrectly half the time. So imagine what a newbie would do? It would make sense to think that if they had received a few key tips to get them started they might actually make it to the gym more. I thrive on seeing people getting engaged with their fitness. I‘m always hoping that even if this person never becomes a paying client that I at least can equip them with a few basic tools to guide them along on their way.
So, like the driving lessons and getting a car: you don’t shell out thousands of dollars on a vehicle, plus whatever else on insurance, registration, maintenance and fuel if you don’t acquire the skillset to operate it, right? Why not get a little exercise and weight training advice from a professional? Even purchasing a few sessions most likely may be a far better investment than the actual gym membership.
Knowledge is power. Applied knowledge is wisdom. Your brain is your strongest muscle.