In a recent podcast with my friend and fitness industry badass Jason Leenaarts asked me the question that provides the title of today's article.
"How has covid changed me as a coach?"
My first thought was "oh, shit, IT HASN'T CHANGED ME! But I can't say that, it sounds arrogant as fuck!"
Here is what came out in the unedited version:
"um..........that's a great question!"
The podcast will be out soon, so you will be able to hear my garbled response in all its glory.
You can find his wonderful podcast HERE.
Upon further thinking about this question, I've realized that covid has changed me as a coach in subtle ways.
One of those ways is realizing that a sense of calm in a crisis is infectious. I must have known this before, but as a Personal Trainer, it's rare to experience a crisis affecting every client.
My first reaction was to create thousands of home-workout plans in a reactionary way. And abject panic.
I wrote some great programs and some awful ones. The problem was, they were too reactionary. Too panicked.
I felt like the programs and my social media content had a reek of breakdown and I knew I couldn't carry on like that without further impacting my mental health.
To cope with lockdown, I drank far more than is healthy, which didn't help me to react in the greatest way I could have.
I didn't consider the number of differences in people's home training environment and because I was writing so many plans (50 during week 1 of lockdown 1) I believe they contained far more mistakes than my usual programming.
What I should have done is come up with 3-4 programs that meant all my clients could be doing something, I'd know each program like the back of my hand, and most importantly...
I WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO WRITE 50 PLANS IN ONE WEEK.
As we settled into lockdown, I gave up drinking through the week.
I began focussing on lending as much equipment out as I could to my clients and friends to make the home training experience effective.
This was done in a calm, methodical way with me deciding which client would benefit more from each piece of equipment.
I focussed on transferring my in-person schedule to online to keep people in a training routine similar to before lockdown.
I then opened up unlimited access to group training slots to every client who wanted to take part, and most clients have done at least a handful of these sessions.
On social media, I started posting as I did before lockdown but mentioning ways to make training at home better and never forgetting to mention that training from home sucks but we can get through it.
Covid has shown me how important it is to get people to start a training session. When training the general population, I'll be focussing on the best ways to get them to START more training sessions rather than overly worrying about what their program contains.
We have made many if not all of our client's lockdown exercise experience better by our actions and looking back with hindsight, that's exactly what I would have wanted.
Another huge lesson was how wonderful and supportive my clients are of me. Most have carried on training, paying, turning up, and have been there for me in times of need.
This is an excellent excuse to post an adorable picture of him:
So to my clients, thank you. Let's keep each other going until we are allowed to high-five in-person again.
By Chris K
The Heavy Metal Strength Coach
Podcast (Grumpy Metalheads & The Heavy Metal Strength Coach Podcast)