I am a big fan of asking the question, “So What?”  When I read a great article or hear a great talk it’s the first question I tend to ask.  I am asking what the relevance to myself and other is.  I want to know why this information matters.  What difference will it make in my life or the lives of others?  We started The Exercise Coach, in a sense, to provide a compelling answer to this question.

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We are all bombarded by countless fitness and fat loss claims daily.  Apparently, the average person asks, “So What?”  For about 85% of population, the solutions offered up by fitness experts and exercise enthusiasts lack relevance to the average adult.

We like to say that for the vast majority of people, working out just hasn’t worked out.  Conventional fitness approaches just don’t fit nicely into the average person’s busy schedule.  And, standard workouts, health clubs, videos,

and trainers really don’t seem to address the needs of most people – especially baby-boomers.  While the number of baby-boomers engaged in a regular exercise program has increased, they are still a very under-served demographic.  We meet boomers every day who would that tell us about how run-of-the-mill fitness misses the mark.

The interesting thing about the situation is that boomers are more open to adopting innovative approaches to exercise than the fitness industry itself!  And innovation is what we need to make exercise more relevant.  Check out the Law of Diffusion of Innovation. According to this theory, in my opinion, the fitness industry are the laggards it describes.  Laggards are people who won’t adopt an innovation until it becomes conventional wisdom.  Since conventional wisdom regarding exercise comes from the fitness industry, we have ended up with a somewhat myopic and stale industry.  Without the vision to provide consumers with a fresh and exciting approach, the same old concepts are repackaged from decade to decade.

At The Exercise Coach this fuels our passion to connect with thinking baby-boomers who refuse to accept the status quo.  And, these are the people that are really making waves both as walking billboards and as franchisees of The Exercise Coach.  We need to change the way people think about exercise.  We are doing that with our unique guided exercise process.

In my last post I said I would lay out seven characteristics of personal training that has progressed.  Here are the first three.  I have included questions to ask of any personal training program, especially if you are above the age of forty.

Defensible

We believe that exercise programs should be based on evidence.  You should ask your personal trainer about the science his or her approach is based upon and they should be able to defend their claims.  It is amazing how much fitness wisdom is blindly accepted.  In my opinion, especially as it relates to baby-boomers, the average trainer cannot defend their methods.  If you would like to see an example of this simply ask a personal trainer why he has his client do the number of sets and reps that they do.  Beware, you may feel that your intelligence is slightly insulted by their answer.

Approachable

Relevant exercise is approachable exercise.  What I mean is that the exercise experience is not intimidating or it at least accounts for how timid some people are about exertion.  It should also have a period of acclimation to make people feel comfortable and accepted even if they don’t exactly love exercise.  Ask any trainer that you consider working with to explain the acclimation process you will be guided through leading up to genuinely productive workouts.  Also, pay attention to what the fitness center communicates.  What kind of pictures are on the wall?  Who is depicted as the center’s ideal client?  What kinds of testimonials are presented?  Is there an emphasis on training athletes instead of average people?

Practical

Personal training that has progressed is NOT based on the “more is better” mentality.  Science has clearly demonstrated that exercise results are not dependent on how much time you spend at the gym.  The most common barrier to exercise entry people face is a lack of time.  Therefore, any trainer you work with should be aware of these facts and capable of getting you the results you want in the time you have available.  At The Exercise Coach we do it for our clients with just two, 20-minute workouts per week.

Until next time – Enjoy strength!

Also See:

Personal Training Has Progressed: Part 1

Personal Training Has Progressed: Part 3