Man, this industry is tough. I know that each of us could make a claim that our industry is tough. I’m still a relative newbie in the field of strength and conditioning; at least, I consider myself a newbie and feel I need so much more practice and experience. As time goes on and I get deeper in my career, the difficulties and travails of my profession continue to surface. Since we deal with the “fitness” industry, everyone can be an “expert”. I use quotation marks around “fitness” because it is a general term for the industry, but at Aspire we have been working for years now to explain and show that we are not in the field of general fitness. This has, perhaps, caused a bit of a misnomer when it comes to people understanding what we do here.
People often have the misconception that because we don’t offer spin and yoga classes, that we assess every client that comes through our doors, that we write a program for every client, that you have to be an athlete to train here. Perhaps because we don’t like to consider ourselves in the general fitness industry that people who are looking for general fitness don’t have a place here. That is the misconception I hope to dispel. We have a huge portion of what we call Lifestyle clients that train with us all year round. Some of them train one-on-one or in small groups with a strength coach every week, and some get programs written for them and train on their own. I would not be the strength coach today if not for my lifestyle clients. When we go through university we all have the dream of only training high level athletes, but reality quickly sets in when we realize that it is incredibly difficult to find those athletes to train. Our lifestyle clients train for a number of different reasons. The best part about applying sport science to our training is that no matter the goals, we can always adapt a program accordingly. My lifestyle clients continually challenge me to think about how to apply physiological principles to their needs, all the while delivering programs that are effective and enjoyable. Sometimes they curse me, I know, because sometimes it’s too my face; but I know it’s all done out of love….right?
It’s because of my lifestyle clients that I continue to learn. I have been studying the Postural Restoration Institution material for the past year and a half so that I can better deliver my strength and conditioning services. Yes, I want to use those postural correctives for my athletes, but I see my lifestyle clients more often. If I can help them breathe better, rotate their ribs and torso better, shift into each hip equally better, how much better off are they going to be as they go about their day to day living? They are going to have less pain and discomfort, they are going to “move better and move more often” to use Gray Cook’s phrase, and they are going to live healthier lives.
It isn’t just me that continues to learn and achieve more certifications beyond our degrees. We recently began offering nutrition counseling and programming so that, should any of our clients need help in that area, we have someone who is making that her specialty. We have someone who is educated in Olympic and Power lifting so that should you want to get strong and powerful for competition, you know you will be well instructed and safe in your training. We have someone who’s brain is like a computer and can recall what sport science is actually saying when it comes to training so that we aren’t just waffling with the fads of our industry.
And yet, I said at the beginning that this industry is hard, and I find it so because clients will still drop us for whatever reason. A multi-million dollar company will move into town and clients will leave us to go to them; a competitor will move in across the street from you and offer “the first training of it’s kind” in the city. Even though I think we offer enough and spend extra time making sure our clients’ needs have been met, it’s still not enough.
So, to my lifestyle clients, I will continue to learn and improve my services for you. You are our lifeblood for you sustain us. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Thank you! It is not just our athletes that deserve all that we offer because we wouldn’t be able to continue Aspire without you. I ask those who might be considering a place to train: look at what we offer. Look at all our services and the process we go through with each client and compare that to other strength coaches and personal trainers and theirs costs.
There is a place for you here at Aspire. We will take care of you.