How Far Should You Go With Your Training?
Whether you are looking to get some body composition results with a person trainer or some performance goals nailed with a strength and conditioning coach, how far you are willing travel for your training is often a good reflection of how far you are willing to go mentally with your personal training goals.
Having experience as both a Brisbane Personal trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach in Brisbane, I have analysed this question from both a professional level and personal level – the former is obviously from experience training my own clients, and the latter is when receiving training from my own mentor personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches in Brisbane and abroad. So how do you decide on how far it is worth to travel for your own personal training? How do you measure how committed you should be? In my experience, I have developed five key principles to guide these decisions. You can apply these same principles yourself when evaluating your own choices around how far you should go with your own training:
This is the first principle and the basis for all the others that follow. You need to be clear on the value of a service being offered but also clear on your own personal values surrounding your health and fitness goals.
In regards to the value you receive from the service you are engaging in, there a few key questions you can ask yourself:
- Do you think you are receiving more than what you expected or less in exchange for your time and money?
- What areas does the business stand out above and beyond your initial expectations and also that of competing businesses?
- Are you learning more and more from your time invested in the service and is it a valuable overall experience?
In regards to your own values, there are also some key questions you need to ask:
- How much do you value your own health and fitness?
- Where does this rank alongside other values in your life such as family and work?
You can’t expect to go too far with your training (both in distance traveled and progress made) if your fitness is not a prevalent personal value. It is true that you are nothing without your health and that all else suffers when your health suffers. However, if you haven’t come to this realisation in your own mind, you will not hold your fitness and health in the same esteem as someone who has this prevailing attitude. What value should you place on your fitness and your health? – Only you can answer that question. If you are struggling to establish how committed you should be to a new program (or questioning your commitment level in a current program), you should consider where your values are to gauge the level of engagement you should have. If you are questioning your results in a program, you also need to question your own level of commitment to the program. Nothing will work well for you if you don’t place value on it. You need to be clear on your values and what things are important to you before all else.
“When values are clear, decisions are easy” – Walt Disney
(Pictured above: Jane – Executive manager for major bank, single mum of two and studying part time Masters of Business degree…AND still makes time for her fitness)
Results are undeniably important – without them it’s a motivation killer. Use the following questions to help gauge how far you should travel and commit personally to a training program:
- Are you getting the results you are after?…Or if you are deciding upon a service, do you know of others like you who have achieved great results?
- Does the service offered have testimonials you can refer to?
- What about online satisfaction rankings or customer feedback on business reviews sites?
- Has the business received any awards or been publicised in journals or other media to gain credibility?
If you find the above elements, you are onto something and you may want to invest the extra effort and time in your training.
What is the customer experience like? Do you find that it is an environment where you are energised to train, or does the training setting bring about negative moods and/or associations? Is the gym vibe, the music, the look and feel of the place, and other customers synonymous with an environment you enjoy?
We obviously take time to adapt to changing environments. However, if you know from previous experiences that your current one is not changing for the better, it may be time to look elsewhere.
What is your relationship like with the staff and other customers of the business? If there isn’t a fruitful relationship and respect between the parties, it is likely that directions won’t be followed in order to get results. There is no perfect gym, service or coach who suits everyone – you need to assess what works for you and how far you will go to get the type of service and people that you need.
Cost is measured by customers in not only financial terms and but also in time. It seems logical to most that they can “only afford what they can afford” (both in time and money) – That seems like a fair statement…however, in consideration of point 1, how much value do you want to on your health and fitness? If you commit to something with your time and your money, you immediately become more involved and have a vested interest in your success. If you feel you need your health and your body performing well (as most do), then you should find a way to make it affordable for you. If you choose the opposite end of the spectrum, and invest nothing in maintaining your body, you may be forced to invest larger amounts later in life. I personally have worked with one client who did not invest anything in his health and fitness all of his life because he “couldn’t afford it”. Then one day, a doctor said to him that he would drop dead in six months if he didn’t get to a healthier weight range – needless to say, he found the money and the time to get in shape. As you can see, it’s not so much about cost but more so about the importance and priority you place on your training.
The common cliche “You get out what you put in in life” often holds true… another cliche that also holds true is “You get what you pay for in life”. If you think travelling shorter distances and/or going to a cheaper fitness alternative is more viable then a better alternative that requires more effort and commitment then consider this scenario – you end up going to a cheaper/more convenient training facility and achieve No Results. However, you go to a better facility that takes more time and commitment but you GET results. The former may be cheaper but it is a 100% waste of time and money versus travelling farther, paying more, and achieving something. One is complete waste of your time and money. The other requires more time and money but both are invested with a return. This isn’t just a hypothetical scenario though. This is a something versus nothing equation that goes on inside most people’s brain (whether they realize it or not) – Statistics show that most gym patrons come to this evaluation and quit the cheaper and more convenient gyms sooner than the alternatives.
There you have it – five principles you can easily apply to gauge how far you should go with your training. The principles are in order of importance so use each accordingly to to evaluate your commitments and find the best training scenario that will work for you.