When I started out as a personal trainer I felt like I had a decent understanding of the “body” (though I would clearly learn more and grow). However, I have felt that having a greater understanding of the “mind” (especially in these initial stages) would have made a more significant impact my clients and my professional success.
I have a very obvious bias in that the majority of the time I have worked as a personal trainer and health coach I was concurrently working towards my doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in motivation or change psychology. Despite that fact, I still feel and felt that a deeper understanding of the mental side, motivation, cognition, behavior management, etc. was needed and would have had a greater impact on my comfort, confidence, and effectiveness.
I am just wondering if others had a similar experience where understanding people and their needs became a critical component to the success of your work as fitness professionals. Or maybe there is another element that you have found to be the thing that transformed your ability to better serve your clients.
Please tell me what area i.e. group classes, small group, nutrition coaching, one-on-one personal training, etc. (be as specific as you would like) and the things that you learned later (on the job, in seminars, etc.) that you believe would have been helpful to have had exposed/mastered early on (again be as specific as you would like).
Great discussion topic Shaun. I am not a personal trainer but do own a gym, so my answer to your question in general would be off topic and more from a small business owner’s perspective versus a personal trainer’s perspective. I do look forward to reading other “on-topic” responses. I try to learn from everyone.
Thank you for your insight!
I echo your sentiments. I am a better trainer now that I know how important it is to understand stage of change as well as readiness to change as far as our clients are concerned.
I’ve mentioned this several times on this portal, however, if we as fitness professionals understood and are were able to implement TTM and MI during the subjective assessment, we would be in a better position to assist our clients with reaching their goals.
For this reason I offer wellness coaching to my clients. This skill that I have learned puts me in a position to give my clients the assistance the truly need.
Thanks for your question.
TTM was a component of my training as a health coaching certification through the american council on exercise, but my training in motivational interviewing occurred through my doctoral training in clinical psychology. While the TTM is helpful, I really felt that getting a model of engagement and motivation augmentation through MI was crucial. I am happy to hear you share this sentiment.
Thanks for the answer and the clarification that others are utilizing this “way of being with people” as Dr. Miller would suggest.