This is a little late in getting posted, but the end of January (30th) marked 2 whole years I've been into this industry. I do remember my first client that morning in Hudson, a 9 AM (or 9:30 AM) client that I am still friends with to this very day. She was there to get ready for her wedding. Damnit if she didn't get to all but 1 session while I was training her for those 8 months I was in Hudson. Yeah it was short lived before I moved to the facility in Brookline. It seems so long ago, but at the same time holy shit the time seems to have gone quickly.
Today I am giving a not too detailed list of 24 things I've learned for the 24 months I've been at this. This was tough, I kind of overlapped some.
1. If you're not getting better you're getting worse: This job has so much you can learn, even some of the best out there don't know it all. The industry is constantly evolving, if you don't keep up you'll get left in the dust.
2. Beggars can not be choosers: My first job I trained any and all comers. From 20 somethings trying to stay ahead of the obesity epidemic to a mid 50's guy with 2 new knees and a new hip. It didn't matter, I trained them because I needed clients to pay the bills, didn't have time to pick and choose.
3. Diversity is education: As mentioned I trained a big diverse list of clients and it helped me learn quickly, simply because if I didn't learn how to train them and get them better I was going to hurt them. That would make me an asshole.
4. You don't know it all: Again similar lines, I left Hudson for Brookline and quickly realized, I didn't know shit, I was the top trainer at my place in Hudson, trust me it's not saying much, knew I had plenty to learn, but my eyes opened real quick when I moved. Get a good network of people that are going to help you grow. Physical therapists can be a big help if you know one you trust, don't lose that connection.
5. Be humble or you will get humbled: I was humbled quickly in the industry when I moved away from home to get my start. Granted it was only 2 hours, but a switch from Portland to Boston was a big change. I've been taught from a young age to just bring the lunch pale to work and work hard, it will get you places. I've seen what happens to those that don't, I'll take what I got thank you.
6. No one wants a fat trainer: I've stated before, if you can't drink the same kool aid you're shoveling down your clients throats, there's an issue. Refer to my Double F K posting.
7. Don't program for your own workouts: I did my own programming for a few months when I first moved to Massachusetts, big mistake. Had someone else start writing my programming last October/November and discovered I had the mobility of a table. That got fixed quickly, thanks Anderson.
8. This industry has no sympathy: Empty schedule? No clients? Time to start pounding the pavement and find some. Can't be choosy like I said, can't be pouting in the corner either because no one is going have sympathy for you and all of a sudden want to work with you.
9. NO CURLS IN THE SQUAT RACK: 'Nuff said
10. Your clients value your programming: They are there for your advice and your programming, make sure it's quality because they are probably going to take it as THE word to follow.
11. Making mistakes happens: You're programming will have flaws almost always, especially early on, just be cautious and use you're brain. 70 year old woman with osteo and a brand spankin new hip probably shouldn't do deadlifts right out of the gates. At the same token a 25 year old guy that's been an athlete all his life probably needs something more challenging than a body squat (maybe not).
12. Learn how to cook, quickly: Time to learn how to do your own cooking, if you're good at it then you can be efficient in the morning and make your breakfast and lunch at the same time. Other option would be to do it all on a weekend day like Sunday during football or Saturday morning watching rugby (there ya go Ben). Eating out is ok now and again, but it gets expensive and it's not always quality.
13. Make sure you got some extra bucks: When the food your brought is all gone you're going to be dying if you have 3 hours of sessions left and you have no more fuel to put in the tank.
14. DEADLIFTS RULE: Done
15. You don't have to be the fat kid: OK learned this one much longer time ago, but I have seen some of my clients drop hefty pounds to get away from being the fat kid. I was the resident fat kid folks, I know the pain, I'm with ya.
16. The Deload is your friend: Trust me just embrace it when it comes because you'll be pissed if you don't and you burn out.
17. The meathead hour is a good time to make friends: That really crappy time when every piece of equipment is taken in the gym can produce friends or at the very least a connection to something better. Think about how much you need to stand around, talk to someone.
18. Boston is damn strong: It wasn't 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, but the Marathon attack last year still sucked and we've bounced back down here and I still remember where I was when I heard about it. I know people that are still feeling the effects of it, but we press on.
19. 24 is alot to come up with/remember: I'm actually having to think about this shit.
20. Anyone can do anything they want with one thing...decication: I'm pretty sure this applies to pretty much every walk of life.
21. Recovery recovery recovery: Stems back to number 16 but still worth making the list. It is king and key to being able to turn around and do multiple workouts in a week, eat and sleep, eat and sleep.
22. That whole-wheat bagel is not your friend: I'll come out and let you in on it, when I was in my last years of school right up until last year I was having a bagel every morning for breakfast. I found out that that's not an optimal breakfast. Learned my lesson though...BACON!
23. Clients don't need to do 90% lifts: Most of my clients aren't nearly advanced enough in their training to being doing 90% max lifts, let alone 100% max lifts. I've "maxed out" clients but certainly not absolute max. You can get great results with lighter loads, seen it happen, I promise.
24. Certainly not least, you need a DAMN GOOD supporting cast: Like I said this is the best for last for me. You need it all, family, coworkers, coworkers that become your friends, mentors and it helps to have a better half to go home to and help keep you calm...or sane. Thanks to all for keeping me together for the last 2 years.
Have a good one guys, go out there and get after it!