The Long Game
Educating Clients and Athletes on The Reality of Their Fitness Goals
“I don’t feed my clients fantasy. I feed them the truth”
– OPEX Head Coach Michael bann
We’ve all seen the marketing tactics of fitness gimmicks showing how to get “shredded” or “6-pack abs” in 30 days. The before and after pictures may be convincing, but often these images are fabricated and fake. These “fitness programs” are scams that abuse the general public’s ignorance on the subject of health and fitness, despite countless studies that have proven that fitness isn’t an “overnight” sensation.
Carl Foster, an exercise physiologist at the University of Wisconsin, decided to run a study to determine if any results were actually measurable in a six week fitness program.
The plan was to photograph and measure volunteers between the ages of 18 – 40 wearing skimpy bathing suits and then randomly assign them to one of three groups: cardiovascular exercise, weight lifting or control. Six weeks later, they would be photographed and measured again.
Results were not surprising. Objective measurements, like weight and percentage of body fat, waist size and the size of the bicep or thigh, did not change.
Clearly , the promises of these fitness gimmicks are for marketing purposes and not in the best interest of the client.
The only way to fight back against these tactics is by educating your clients and potential clients about their own fitness journey towards their unique goals.
As a coach, it’s your responsibility to ensure your clients and athletes achieve successful results. However, it’s also your responsibility to ensure your clients recognize the significance and time required to accomplish their objectives.
When you are transparent with your clients about where they sit, you can be realistic about their future and build a solid (strong) foundation of trust with them. And trust is the foundation of every successful relationship.
Neither athlete or client can avoid the basics of fitness and the foundational building process. Without a strong foundation, there is a high risk of serious injury or impeded progression.
Understanding that there are no short term solutions to any problem is one of the five habits of world-class coaches.
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