Post about "Personal Training"

Attitudes About Health and Fitness Are Specific As Well As General

Trainers, fat loss coaches and fitness writers spend a great deal of time trying to change people’s attitudes about fitness or health related activities.More often than not they fail to affect any permanent change in these attitudes. Many times it is because of a basic misunderstanding of how attitudes are formed. “Strength training is good for you,” is not a statement that is bound to motivate a nonphysical person to become a fit one. Likewise, a list of generic exercise benefits will not cause many to rush to their local gym. Trying to change a person’s attitudes with general all-encompassing statements about exercise is a well-meant mistake.How can it be a mistake to want to change people’s feelings and beliefs about fitness?The mistake is not in the desire. It’s in the execution. You see, many people already have positive attitudes about fitness and health. In fact the widespread assumption that out of shape and even obese people are lazy and lackadaisical compared to the enlightened fit among us is largely a false one. They can believe that fitness and health are desirable things and still be unhealthy and unfit. Their general attitude about “fitness and health” as a concept may be very favorable. But that does not reflect their behaviors.People have general attitudes but their particular behaviors can reflect their attitude about that particular activity. If a person never jogs or runs this need not reflect their attitude toward fitness, only toward jogging.When you have an overweight friend spending countless hours on the treadmill parked in front of the television like some kind of obsessed hamster then telling him he needs to get on with the fitness is probably not going to help. As far as he is concerned he is getting on with the fitness. His choice of activity reflects his feelings and beliefs about the convenience and effectiveness of the treadmill. You may think that is lazy but that reflects your particular attitudes. “Lazy” is a value judgment.So the lesson is to deal in specifics. Work on people’s beliefs and feelings about particular activities as opposed to others that you feel are unhealthy or ineffective. This lesson goes not only for trainers but for anyone who would like to see a friend or family member improve his or her health.As a strength trainer I spend much of my time talking about very specific things such as deadlifts. That is because I have found that discussing specific activities generates more interest than vague testimonials about strength training.