Weight Room Empathy

Lakers Strength and Conditioning Coach Sean Light Working with Timofey Mozgov before an NBA game in Dallas

It's easy to get disconnected from the non-strength coach mind. I'm always surprised by how little the general public knows about health and fitness. What seems so obvious to people within our industry is often a groundbreaking revolution to the general population. 

We have passion for what we do. If you're reading this blog, you likely have more passion than the normal trainer. But we cannot expect our clients to share that passion.  

Empathy seems to be the name of the game. This is not something that you keep in the back of your mind as you program. This is step number one...always. 

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Empathy is really understanding the person you are working with. Truly putting yourself in their shoes.

Who are they?

Why are they here?

What keeps them up at night?

What problems are you solving?

How will they best learn what you are teaching?

The more I understand the meaning of empathy, the more important it becomes. 

One hardship that I hear most is that clients just don't want to do the fancy exercises. They only want beach body workouts. This is simply a trainer running low on empathy. 

In order to get from point A (zero buy-in) to point B (best client ever), you have to go through a period of acquiring that buy-in. Let's call it the empathy zone. You have to give them what they want, so that eventually they can get what they need. If you try to jump right past the empathy zone, you'll always have trouble with that person. 

I believe the first job for any coach is to make their client think you are the greatest trainer in the world. A gift from god. Make them flabbergasted at the sheer luck to have been paired with literally the world's greatest trainer. 

If they think you are the greatest trainer on this planet, they will follow you into war. 

Some simple steps to start today...

Dress Sharp: Appearance matters. Where nice clothes. If you were the world's most successful coach, what would you be wearing?

Be Well Groomed: I like using the phrase "buttoned up." Run some product through your hair.  Shave your face gents. 

Smell Nice: A couple spritzes of cologne/perfume go a long way. Whenever I'm around wealthy people, they always smell so damn good. This sends a message.

Be Hyper Prepared: Have a program typed up and ready. Be ready before they arrive. Time them on a stopwatch, not your phone. This looks like you're texting, even if they know you are not. Start on time. Finish on time. 

Don't Sit Down: I shouldn't even have to say this.

Be Excited to See Them: Be a positive influence in their life. 

Anyone who truly understands neurology, knows that these steps will give you positive neural changes and that fires me up.

Empathy is the first step in the genMAX model. Without it, you will lose before you ever get started.

Once your empathetic, now you can start thinking about unlocking the genetic maximum (genMAX).

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