As a trainer, I tend to use this phrase a lot. “Trust the process“. Whether a client is starting out for the first time or building on what they’ve already accomplished makes no difference to me. The point is simple: if you believe in what you are doing, you tend to do it better. Now, this can obviously be applied to many professions, however I find it resonates appropriately to the fitness industry. Since it is an unregulated profession, there are many resources that can tarnish the well-being of highly educated and experienced trainers and their programs. Everything from the latest fads to diet plans can confuse the majority of the population and have them second guessing if their trainer or POTENTIAL trainer is doing best for them. The truth is that many resources not published through scholastic journals are extremely vague and can therefore lead to conflicts in information. It is understandable that many individuals want to obtain their goals in the shortest time-frame possible. I mean who wouldn’t. In today’s society, information is very accessible and therefore most people do “research” before committing to a trainer. This brings us back to the previous point on how vague and unregulated some “research” can be.
The fact of the matter is that training adaptations take TIME. That’s right, physiologically your body needs time and repetitive training to make changes. On average, the time for any true muscular adaptations may take anywhere from 6-8 weeks. Anything before that time is more likely neurological in nature (motor unit recruitment makes movements smoother and easier to accomplish). Although there are always new methods to apparently produce “quick fixes”, the fact of the matter is you can’t shortcut this process. You have to trust the long hard road and roll with the punches. Now, on the other hand there are obviously many trainers in the profession who have delegated inappropriate exercises or progressions to clientele who clearly were not ready. Maybe the trainer was certified through some questionable association or they lacked essential knowledge for the job. Understandable. So where do you draw the line? I feel the answer is in the basics.
If the program is simple, well-versed and explained thoroughly, the results should speak for themselves. If anything, a little time spent researching what the trainer said to do can give you an idea of it’s value. If something is unclear, ask. The trainer should be able to answer any questions, or at the very least be honest enough to admit they are unsure and quickly go get the answer. For any trainers reading this, if you believe in your program you become more driven to reach the end goal with your client. The results will take care of themselves. Programs don’t have to be fancy. Simple and proven I find are way more effective than new and theorized. A barbell is a much better tool than a fancy new machine.
The goal is not to hop to the newest “fad” or device but to instead be aware of them and do diligence. Don’t sell your screwdriver for a wrench. You build your toolkit, not constantly trade it in for something else. There will be days when both the client and trainer lack motivation or become frustrated. Maybe the client can’t yet master a technique or lift a heavier weight as was the program plan. These things happen. It can be quite upsetting to feel you’ve taken a step forward and two steps back. But the journey to success isn’t always a straight path. So although you may feel as though you didn’t accomplish what you felt you should have, take away something positive. It could be the smallest detail such as a technical correction or not feeling as stiff when exercising. It could even just be the fact that you weren’t feeling like going but something inside you drove you to finish what you started. That alone speaks volumes.
Something I find helpful is when you don’t feel like training, adapt your workout for that day to make yourself feel good. In other words, only train really hard when you feel really good. If you don’t feel good, do things that’ll make you feel good so you can train really hard. I know that’s a mouthful, but it makes complete sense. Just remember that the night gets darkest before dawn. So keep your chin up and trust yourself. The sun’s about to rise.