"I Work Out A Lot."
As a Coach of Athletes, this kind of statement makes me Sad.
At first impression it tells me you probably have no plans, you may be afraid to Fail, and you'll likely accept anything positive as progress. You may also be inclined to pay too much for very little results, and are in desperate need of some consumer education.
Should be a great opportunity for me as a business owner, Right?
The realities are that I usually loathe these interactions. It doesn't help that I'm an overbearing and anti-social caretaker of other overbearing and anti-social athletes. Though that's not the real reason I'm put off by the "workout crowd". It's that I know you've likely wasted God knows how much money, time and effort when you could have been racing towards real, quantifiable progress -- In whatever your pursuits are.
The fix is easy. Just "Train".
Just saying the word, "Training", carries a psychological weight with it that intimidates most people. It's because it requires that they bind their efforts to something concrete, finite and measurable. An end result -- a "Goal".
Just saying that word, "Goal" is even heavier, and scarier. Anyone who avoids "New Years Resolutions" like a plague would understand. It's something you have to make known to people to be useful. It's something you could potentially fall short of, or Fail at. It could be hard. It could cost time, money and effort. It could take years to accomplish, and require many other Goals to be realistic -- and nobody has that kind of time. People want results now.
For many people, it's easier to just keep paying my monthly fees, show up, co-exist and put in a modest amount of effort towards anything. That effort alone, just showing up, is impressive to some other people, who have even less motivation.
Well if that mentality is OK to you -- then just stop reading here.
What we do is Train people.
As a Coach, when I have someone roll in the door with a Sport and a Goal in mind, I am elated. We are ready to rock. I know we can take their performance to an impressive new level. Sometimes that comes by just from putting them in a rigorous new training environment. One with other people who are "No Bullshit" serious about smashing their Goals. Other times it just takes someone on the outside looking in, to see the flaws in their program.
Sometimes, we have someone roll in who is disgruntled at their previous Trainer. Most of the time it's for not having a Goal oriented Program. They may have felt like they were "spinning their wheels". First off, what the Hell was this Trainer doing? How did they justify their existence to their Athlete? Why did they pay this person? I digress.
When these types walk into our facility, it doesn't take long for them to finally get to experience (or re-experience, for former Athletes) what Coaching actually means. We get to build a brand new Athletic career, with a program tailored for their weaknesses and we all get to see what they're made of.
The worst cases are when someone walks in looking for a place to punch the clock, sweat a bit and suck the life out of our Trainers. "Workout". We have some re-educating to do and they may not stick around -- We're OK with that.
You need a Goal, and it needs to be concrete. It needs to be workable. It needs to be measured. It needs to be public. Or it's worthless.
We don't care if you set yourself towards attaining National recognition in your sport, or winning the local Potato Chip eating contest. Your training program requires a Focus or you're set up to Fail from the start.
It tempers your resolve, brings clarity, and helps to put everything you're doing (or sacrificing) into perspective. Without it, how else can your Coach determine what to do with you? How do you measure success? How do you justify all the work, blood and sweat. Without it, you're forced to grasp or accept whatever progress is there.
From another perspective. We come across people who set Goals, but are making such insignificant progress towards them and are still satisfied with their Training Programs. I understand this is fine for some people. Progress is Progress right?
Say for example, as part of your Program, you want to increase your strength in the Back-Squat from 285# to a more Athletic 400#. You are chugging along, making 5-10lbs Personal Records once every every 6-months. I can hear it already, "Great!"
How is this acceptable? Unless you're already putting up Elite totals in Powerlifting (or are missing some bones) you should be pissed off for wasting your time. In 18-Years you might actually be somewhere near your Goal. I respect your dedication if you can make it 18-years using the same Program, but seriously...
Your training program Sucks. Fire your Coach.
Then think about whether you're actually Training, or just "Working Out".
As a side note I'm using this web-pulpit to re-affirm my Goal after training out of my spinal injury these past few months. I will earn an Elite Powerlifting Total in the 198# Weightclass and qualify for a National Competition in 2014. I have a few others up my sleeve, but I need to run them by my Coach first.