The Only Article I'll Write About Mindset
Article Overview - what you will be getting familiar with
- Understanding mindset
- Background + place in the industry
- Optimising mindset
- Just get started
- Include achievable goals initially
- Cutting through
- The rise of 'Mindset Coaches'
- How to get started
Mindset and the Fitness Industry
Mindset - an attitude, disposition or mood (dictionary.com).
Keep this question in mind: what comes first - mindset change or results?
When it comes to improving body composition, there are two variables I am trained and experienced in manipulating to get the desired outcomes - training and nutrition. Optimisation of training (better exercise) and nutrition (better food intake) allow people to decrease fat mass, increase muscle tissue and improve health.
When people start seeing progression - whether it be body composition, strength/performance or energy - it reinforces the benefits of their effort to train and eat better, and soon they both become more enjoyable and easier to adhere to. The progression and results essentially feed back into the individuals motivation, and this positive-cycle continues.
Eventually the progress slows down, which is in line with the law of diminishing returns. At this stage, more training is required to continually build strength and a stricter diet might be needed to keep losing body fat. However, now that training is enjoyable and the individual understands the impact of their hard work getting results, it becomes a lot easier to implement these more advanced recommendations.
Even if the individual decides not to take the next step, they have still made excellent progression from where they have started, and have inevitably achieved improvements in health, body composition and fitness. A healthy body composition can be achieved without excessively strict diet or exercise.
Getting started on these training and nutrition changes - particularly when it comes to overhauling old habits and getting out of the comfort zone - is daunting to a lot of people. However, this does not mean that people are lazy or lack motivation - many have had bad experiences with trainers, haven't got results from previous efforts.
Ironically, many trainers actually can intimidate clients and stop them from coming to train with them. Look at Instagram or other social media and you will see trainers posting footage of their training, physique and lifestyle. The idea is to show 'this is how I do it, you can do it too' but it can often alienate the client, because that is a long way from where they are now, they feel like the gap between you both is huge and may question whether the trainer understands their needs.
Most personal trainers market to themselves (ie. other personal trainers) but now I have gone off-topic, so we can leave that until another day.
Getting Started is the Key
People who train with me might say how they now love exercising, getting up early when they couldn't before or now have a more positive relationship with food. However, this is a result of the training and nutrition alterations we both worked on implementing, as opposed to flicking a mental switch. I haven't coached their mindset, I've just improved their training and nutrition (the easy part) while they have implemented it (the hard work).
Accountability is one of the biggest mindset switches occur as soon as someone hires a trainer. They instantly become accountable to themselves and their goals, because they have to show up to the training session and are being supervised by someone they have selected. They also have invested financially in hiring a trainer, which means they are serious about making the improvements they want to achieve.
Financial investment is strong indicator for accountability to the program, beyond the fact that it necessary to get access. Hire yourself a $30/hr personal trainer and see what results over six weeks. Now hire a $100/hr and see what you get out of it. The training and nutrition recommendations might not be drastically different, but I'm confident you will be more adherent to the $100 option (plus they can likely personalise recommendations to you, making it easier to implement/adhere).
This accountability change is driven solely by the individual, not the trainer. If you hire me, my accountability is the control (of high standard, of course) while yours is the variable. I will be there training you at 6am and developing the right solutions for your goals, experience and lifestyle, but it's your accountability to the program that will get results. If my accountability increases, very little changes. If yours increases, everything changes.
There's a new trend for personal trainers to add 'mindset coaching' to business (or should I say, bio). As I have outlined above, many people experience changes in mindset when they get results, but these are a result of training and nutrition coaching as opposed to mindset coaching.
To me, mindset coaching is just another way for trainers to differentiate themselves from one another, typically on social media. Of the mindset coaches out there, I can't see any that offer a direct mindset coaching service.
Sticking to any regime for seven days is a great place to start.
Making it through an entire week is important, because you will face the challenges that come up on different days. Most people find Monday - Wednesday to be quite easy, but face more difficulty later in the week as time is less structured and there are more social events.
Once you get through seven days, you realise that you can implement the changes you want and now the positive feedback has begun. You might now feel confident to hire an expert to help optimise your training and nutrition, because you know you can implement an appropriate plan.
Some of you might know about the Integrated Fitness & Nutrition Tracking Challenge, which we use with all new clients and it is also available for anyone to download for free. The tracking challenge has a multitude of benefits for both the clients and us, as it shows the client is willing to implement something we have recommended (ie. the challenge).
There are three key reasons we have new clients complete the tracking challenge:
- Collect important background information for developing personalised training and nutrition recommendations.
- Demonstrating a will to carry out the recommendations provided by Integrated Fitness & Nutrition
- Achieve a goal and start the process of positive feedback.
These aren't some high-level mind tricks I was taught at Jedi School (is that a thing - I've only watched one Star Wars movie) they are simply a strategy to attain clients who will stick to the program. The last thing I want is to be hounding you to check in with progress reports, I just want to developing personalised systems that get results!
Mindset alterations are the by-product of the training and nutrition recommendations for body composition clients. If switching mindset alone was the key to getting body composition results, the best coaches would be trained in psychology, not exercise science and nutrition.
A positive mindset is important to making progress and there is some level of mindset switch that occurs when someone decides to 'get fit' or hire a trainer. The main point I am making in this article is that the mindset switches often associated with exercise - energy, enjoyment, confidence - are the result of the training and nutrition progression/feedback, not psychological tricks.
Please note: this is my opinion based on my knowledge and experience. Other professionals might have differing thoughts, hence why they focus on coaching mindset.
The next [RECOMPOSITION] program starts Saturday 13th February. Click here to learn more and register.