Thumbs up indicates good training! Picture from Crossfit Troy.
It's so difficult to get a good session in. Training, though it may sound simple, has so many variables and as a Strength & Conditioning person, it's hard sometimes to whip up a solid training session.
Moreover, without a good session, the people you train would not be motivated to train with you and in turn you would not be motivated to train others. Vicious cycle ya? Without that motivation, then it would be impossible to achieve the training goals that your clients set out to achieve.
Based on my minimal experience in training others, here's what I think are the eight attributes you need to look out for for exceptional training that you want to keep going for on and on and on. I base it on the physical, the mental, and the emotional aspects of training which led me to think about these eight attributes.
So what should my training be that it makes me want to get out of bed and get my body moving?
- Be able to physicaly provide a challenge in at least one aspect of fitness. Whether it's being really sore from good solid reps done, or being winded from cardio-based training, as long as you have a good sense and amount of fatigue from it. If you do not feel like you have given your all after the session, you probably haven't.
- Allowing everyone to be involved in what they want to do for training. Being able to contribute builds the sense of belonging to the session and they will own the session and put effort into it.
- Create a communal environment for training. Working in pairs or teams will build a community together. Get them to know one and another and they will have the social aspect of training locked on. This will get them to come back to train together because they enjoy the company and they know that they are put through the same hell together.
- Define clear standards of movements and provide easier options. This allows everyone to focus on technique and do it progressively. The stronger ones can think of ways to overload the movement while the weaker ones do not feel intimidated to train with others.
- Learn to listen to what the people you train have to say. Certain movements may not be suitable for the demographic so improvise and provide alternatives. As much as they are learning about training from you, you are also learning from them to help improve your coaching skills.
- Educate them about what you are doing with them. Empowerment allows them to feel like they are learning something and that they have something to take away from it. It's like a drug, when they get the hang of it, they get hooked on it and keep wanting to learn more!
- Be different once in awhile. Change is good but too much change confuses them too much. Humans need some structure in what they do so if you keep changing it around too often, they will get confused and not be able to see any training adaptations.
- Always encourage. Positive comments actually get people more motivated than you think. Some people need someone external to push them but they do not want to keep hearing "SUCK IT UP! THAT WAS A PISS POOR PERFORMANCE!" It's good to be harsh sometimes but always make sure it comes with some encouragement.
These are the eight attributes I try to put into each and every one of the sessions I conduct. Sometimes I am guilty of not following them but I try my best to include all eight in whenever I am conscious of it.
Whether it's others you are training or just yourself where you need some form of self-monitoring of your session, how are you measuring up based on these eight attributes? Give it some thought.
Stay Strong and Keep Training,
The Training Geek.