I'd like to send you off to the weekend with a little thought that's been on my mind for a long time, but I've never talked about it.
Why do you think people spend years studying physical education in school to become a coach? Or why do we spend hours in coaching training all doing exercises together? Have you ever wondered why time and money are "wasted" on all this when you can also open YouTube and find exercises there or Google very good training plans?
It's great that people want to inject their friends with the fitness bug by taking them with them to the gym, but there tend to be downsides as well.
I've seen my fair share of these situations and I'd like to make you think a little more about why coaching should be left to coaches.
There are three types of friends:
The first one is the one who has a very good sense of body. Who performs the exercise himself very well. Who can also observe another person, detect the mistake, and is competent to correct it.
The second type of person is the one who also has a good sense of body, does the exercise well himself, but does not know how to spot or correct mistakes in another person.
And as the last type of person, I will point out those who neither know how to do the exercise themselves, nor how to guide others.
Maybe there is a fourth type who cannot do the exercises themselves but is very good at helping others, but I have not seen this with my own eyes yet.
So. As you can tell, I worry about hurting people in the long run, even though the intentions are sincere and good. Why do I say long? Because often the wrong movement pattern can start to emerge later on.
Don't get me wrong, exercise is good and the human body is literally designed to move by twisting it in absolutely every way possible, but it's not difficult to hurt yourself whilst lifting weights.
Since I have been very active all my life, always trained - even competed, there has been rather this layer of active people around me. And yes, I admit it - I was also one of those mentioned types, but thanks to my training experience and training in groups and years of hearing everyone’s mistakes corrected, I luckily belonged to the first group. Until I took the plunge and went to study to be a coach myself and got a lot of new knowledge! And when I started working as a trainer, I was even more surprised to see how very different people's body sensations are - and I wasn’t actively coaching for long due to obvious reasons.
So! My request is. If you want to train people, please become a trainer. If you want to go to the gym with a friend, go to the trainer together in the beginning so that you can correct each other's performance in the future because the trainer told you what to keep in mind! The fact that one goes to the trainer in the gym and then starts coaching his friend doesn't help either, because people's bodies are so different. It may be that you did not make the 'mistake' that they are making. And you can't identify it because the trainer didn't correct or mention it when he was at the gym with you. But the best thing to do? Get a trainer and learn the exercises yourself through his professional guidance, so that in the future you can confidently handle the weights and recommend the same to a friend.
And by the way. Going to the gym with a trainer has more bonuses. In my eyes, the best thing is that you don't have to read the repetitions yourself or worry that maybe you will rest too long because he does everything else necessary for you. You can simply perform the exercise and keep your mind 100% on the working muscle! 🤭
Likewise, training plans. Since not all human bodies are created equal and not everyone has the same goals, the trainer can make you a plan based on your body and your wishes!