I read an interesting article on Vladimir Petković (pictured), the professional football manager, former player and head coach of French team Bordeaux. In the article, Petković talks about the strategy of team training and how to focus individual team players on the core objectives over individual training needs.
One of Petković’s points in the article is the importance of understanding what we need to achieve when training, particularly in a sporting context, and how goals play a part in that pathway to training success. In this regard, Petković argues that establishing goals when training is more crucial than training pathways and the process of training itself. Or to put it another way, the mental is just as important as the physical when training, if not more so.
The same principles also apply, I would say, as a Personal Trainer, when training with clients. In my role, it is important to explain to the clients that I train with, what the purpose of the training is and to establish clearly understood objectives and goals to achieve objectives.
This is vital, not only when on a specific training programme, but also for the client when he or she finishes that programme and moves on to training on their own. At this juncture, it can become the case that a person in this position can become lost in the distractions of the gym floor and can find themselves losing focus from their objectives and the connection to their training which was in place earlier on.
My approach to this challenge is to share with my clients as clearly as possible during the structured time when training with them a mindset and principles of training that can be carried forward into a long-term fitness lifestyle. Ongoing communication between myself and the client is also helpful in this regard, to answer queries, clarify issues and which allows for an ongoing conversation around training, fitness more generally and diet. It is an educational process (which cuts both ways!), whilst allowing the required distance between the client and Personal Trainer, so the client can receive the training he or she needs.
So, if you want to make progress when training and to maintain that progress through the months and years that follow an initial fitness programme, think in terms of objectives, strategy and goals, and update these as progress is made. Or, to put it another way, don’t fall asleep at the workout wheel and never train on automatic.