Mindful Movement with Lucy Hendricks

The trainer’s guide to teaching clients the fundamentals of health

What does it take to make clients healthy? Is it just movement, or is it more?

And is there a way we can make pursuing health for our clients simpler? Make the coaching process simpler?

That’s why I’m juiced up to bring you Lucy Hendricks for this week’s talk.

In this podcast, you’ll learn:

  • What it really takes to keep your clients healthy
  • How to create a gym culture that values health, sleep, nutrition, and more
  • What are the pillars of health?
  • Which three habits should brand new clients focus on in their first year of training
  • How mindful movement can give you all the benefits of yoga without the drawbacks
  • Why you should use the “rule of 3” with your exercise cueing
  • The benefits of creating a consistent approach with your clients
  • Why coaching the general population is important
  • What is the future of healthcare?

Check this interview out if you want your coaching to be simpler and all-encompassing!

Look below to watch the interview, listen to the podcast, get the show notes, and read the modified transcripts.

and the audio version:

Learn more about Lucy Hendricks

Lucy’s website can be found here.

Enhancing Life Virtual Gym (get 2 weeks of mindful movement free!) here. 

Instagram: lucy_hendricks


Lucy Hendricks is a gym owner, coach, educator, and speaker who not only takes a holistic approach to personal training but is known for her ability to take complicated topics and making them digestible for fitness and rehab professionals. She helps coaches who have clients that have been hindered by movement limitations get back to what they love.

Show notes

Here are links to things mentioned in the interview:

Seth Oberst – He’s an awesome PT who specializes in trauma work. You can check out a course review I did on him here.

90/90 Hip Lift – An exercise commonly used in movement prep.

Crozat Appliance – This is the appliance I have in my mouth for palatal expansion.

Modified Transcripts

Zac: When I say “Personal Trainer,” what does that mean to you?

Lucy: Just a joke of a career.

Zac: Really? Why do you think it’s a joke of a career?

Lucy: Because I feel like it’s based on a really faulty foundation of all this from the start of how we get people in the industry, how we train them, what expectations we give them, how we train them to do their job and the expectation of what they’re able to accomplish with people’s health.

Zac: You know, when you reflect back on your career and how you got started in this industry, did you ever get hit with that like, I’m working with some people and it’s like, “Whoa, this person needs a whole lot more than what I learned in my beginning phases of my career.”?

Lucy: I wouldn’t say there was one time where it hit me. It was more of reflecting back on the first five years of my career. Always feeling like a fraud. Because right from the very beginning I started getting invited to podcasts, seminars and people always ask the question, “What do you do to get your clients results?” Which I always hated because I was really good at getting people to lift without pain.

But when people say “Results,” they insinuate that you got them, their fat loss results, sleep results, just got them healthy. And for the first five years, I always avoided that question or didn’t really answer it, beat around the bush, and went to the strength training without pain. And then I realized that the expectation that personal trainers are able to get people to the end result, which is completely healthy, is really unrealistic because no one has the skillsets for that.

Building a gym that appreciates holistic fitness

Zac: What kind of things did you first shift to that were outside of strength training without pain?

Lucy: I would say the functional medicine world and those concepts of working on your sleep, eating real food, at the time gluten-free, sugar-free, trying to go back to what your ancestors ate, and stress management, which I didn’t really understand either other than promoting people need to chill out.

Zac: Of course, take a chill pill.

Although I personally prefer red pill (Image by digipictures from Pixabay)

Lucy: It should be less stressed. And telling people that meditation is important, but never actually getting them to do it. Maybe a handful of people tried it or tried other stress-relieving activities, but there was never a process. It was more trying to create the culture where we believed in all these other lifestyle factors that needed to be addressed, but never actually had a system for it.

Zac: And I know you like to have a systematic and consistent approach you might say. So, once you ironed out the kinks, so to speak with somebody approaches, as opposed to just say, “Try and relax” when it comes to stress management or meditation’s important, sleep’s important, but not having those processes in place.

What was your process like of making that more systematic in your community that you train?

Lucy: I wouldn’t take this as advice, but we first started out with workshops. So, I remember we did the first sleep workshop probably three years ago and no one had signed up. So I gave away eight semi-private or something crazy without thinking, just wanting them to come so bad to the sleep seminar, believing if they worked on their sleep, they’ll get better results. And then they’ll stay longer, which the money won’t be an issue. And clients knew that that was a horrible business choice, so they ended up coming, but never picked up the sessions.

People did buy blue-blocking glasses, the sunlight lamp, and started walking in the morning and started turning off their overhead lights at night. So, it did change a little bit and some people got results.

What really went well was the following year. We did a sleep challenge and we didn’t want to attach the winning to results just because everybody’s so different. And that’s one thing that makes it so hard is you can’t really control the outcome in a group setting unless you had one on one coaching, but that takes so much attention and skill sets that most trainers don’t have to control a bunch of other aspects that influence someone’s ability to get results.

So, what we ended up doing was we attached the outcome to participation. So, everybody had a checklist of, I think, 12 things that correlate to sleep hygiene or influence sleep hygiene.

And you had the check, I forget so many each day posted on Facebook. And each time you posted a picture, you got your name and a chance to win an Oura ring, which is like a $300 ring. And that worked really well. A lot of people got amazing results better than I thought they would. People who struggled to get up in the morning were able to get up in the morning with no problem. People started drinking less coffee. People started going to sleep faster. We had another client who started pushing herself harder with running. So, she felt that she was working out too hard, but really, she wasn’t recovering enough. So, when she started sleeping better, she found herself being able to push harder in the gym. So that was really cool.

Zac: I think it’s cool that instead of focusing on the outcome, you focus on the process. Because with something like meditation, I know you did a meditation challenge as well. How do you define a successful meditation?

Whereas you were able to get people to focus more so on just habits people need to do to be healthy. What constitutes healthy sleep? And it’s these keys. And I mean, that’s fascinating that you’re able to get the buy-in on that. You had good retention rates with that as well? The whole challenge?

Lucy: With the challenge? Yes.

Zac: It seems like once you take the outcome, so to speak out of the process, it’s like people still feel successful. And I think that’s absolutely brilliant.

Lucy: And people are competitive. So, the minimum was you have to do X amount, but then sure enough, the first person that filled out the entire sheet went on there and got a bunch of praise from us on Facebook. And then other people started going through the entire sheet as well.

A lot of people kept up with some of the routines. But anything that pushes the needle in the right direction when it comes to health. And that’s what we try to teach people is you can do just about anything and you will get results.

So, what we try to do is at least establish the basics of all these other life factors. So that way, we can start pushing the needle in the direction of better health and more sustainable results.

The pillars of health a beginner client should achieve

Zac: What are some of the key habits you want a new client to exhibit within the first year?

Lucy: If I were to pick three, I would say getting a movement routine, which can also mean exercise routine, where they’re consistent and they enjoy it. Where it’s no longer a struggle to attend the gym. So now you don’t have to sit there and “Do I really want to go, or should I just skip this week?” So once going to the gym once or twice a week becomes an easy choice, that would be something that I would want in the first year.

The next two would be finding a meditation practice and getting them to teach themselves to be present and train their body to pay attention to what’s going on inside and with their thoughts.

And the third thing I would say would probably be walking and spending time outside. So, if I were to pick three of those would be the three.

Zac: Why in your eyes are those three the most important? I think the movement practice makes sense because that’s where people are coming to you for.

But as a trainer, that is our bread and butter. So, what about the other two? Why do you think walking is important and why do you think meditation is important and the first things that you put?

Lucy: Movement and exercise part is our bread and butter. If that wasn’t a priority, then we probably wouldn’t have clients.

We are really good at getting people to enjoy exercise. I think a reason why people can’t stay consistent on a schedule is because they don’t enjoy it. We focus on making training feel good.

The second one is building a meditation practice, training themselves to pay attention because a lot of people have either maladaptive beliefs, catastrophic thinking, unhealthy behaviors that really are impacting their ability to get healthy. And if you can’t sit there and the present moment and pay attention to your thoughts, or even recognize that you have the behaviors that you’re doing or practicing in or the self-awareness.

And if you meditate just right, you too will become psychedelic! (Image by 3333873 from Pixabay)

Self-awareness is the first step to changing any type of behavior, thought, or lifestyle that you’re wanting to work on. If people don’t have that, it’s so hard to even change anything.

Our goal is sustainable results. Meditation helps build the foundation required to change all of these thoughts and behaviors that people are having.

Walking is to get people moving throughout the day. And that helps with our number one goal, which is getting people consistent in the gym.

What we find is if people can walk and move outside of the gym, they’re able to recover faster from their workouts. That makes their workouts feel better, they progress a lot faster, which gets them excited.

If they’re not moving outside of the gym and they’re only exercising and only moving at the gym, then these people will progress a little slower. So, it motivates them less.

Zac: With the meditation in particular, because inevitably, especially when someone’s starting out, you are going to fall off the wagon in some way, shape, or form. And having the self-awareness component and the ability to bring it back to whatever it is you are focusing on, probably helps them get back on track sooner than not.

Lucy: Oh, 100%. And then that’s what you need. You need the awareness to see the patterns of “When I stopped sleeping and I don’t pay attention to X, Y, and Z. When I don’t do my movement routine, or when I don’t do my morning routine of reading, getting my coffee, doing my meditating, I now notice that I go to the gym less, I start bingeing at night.”

So, having this awareness of where you dropped off and what are the things that you need to do to get back is everything. Because if you don’t have that, you don’t know why you failed. So, it was just, “I failed. I suck.” And then that’s it. So, you don’t even have the keys to even get back to where you were,

Mindful movement

Lucy: So, the idea of the mindful movement service that I created started out when I attended Seth Oberst’s class.

Ahh the gold ole days

Zac: Yes.

Lucy: Where he first introduced the idea of how the body and stress and trauma interact together. And how trauma and stress influences what you see in the body. And how you can use a movement practice, meditation practice, and even things like yoga to impact someone’s stress or trauma. And how both of them are really connected. So that was when I first got introduced to that idea. And I worked with him online where he did some of his work with me, and then I took a yoga class.

I am an ex-gymnast and super flexible, strong, and I take cues well. And yoga was very therapeutic for me. It was a time for 45 minutes for me to only pay attention to what was going on in my body. The muscles that I felt stretching, the muscles that I felt working, the cues that they were telling me to do, I was paying attention to that. And I got immense benefit with it when it comes to the struggles that I was having with my mental illness.

But then I noticed that the people that really benefit from it are people like me who are really flexible, take cues well, are strong and have a background probably in gymnastics, ballet, dance, or ice skating.

Zac: You got to express to yourself what you already knew how to do in just a unique way.

Lucy: Yes.

At the same time, I was starting to see the stuff that I was doing with our clients from a different perspective, because I train a lot of people in pain and who have an auto-immune disease. When they would try to cancel on me because they had a flare up, whether their back flared up for the fifth time in a few months or their Hashimoto’s flared up. So, they were really fatigued.

I would try to get them in the gym anyway. And instead of their full-on workout, I would let them do breathing exercises for about 45 minutes.

So, with the information that I had and the outcomes that I was noticing, I thought for the longest time that because they did all the breathing exercises from a biomechanic standpoint, they were feeling really good because we just increased all these movement options. Which there’s some truth to that, for sure.

But I think I was giving biomechanics way more credit with the information that I had.

Although I never did those breathing sessions myself, my client reactions were very positive, so I kept doing it. Sometimes they would even ask for those sessions because they enjoyed them that much. And they would take me aside and like shake my hand or like hug me. Like, “Thank you so much for letting me come in and do that.”

So, when I learned about stress and trauma and all of that stuff, and I took the yoga class, I realized maybe it’s not all biomechanics. Maybe they felt so great because they just meditated for a whole entire hour.

Zac: Yes.

Lucy: And when they stopped paying attention to their body, there I was reminding them, “Keep tucking, keep reaching, don’t lose it, keep exhaling.” Because I’m very detailed with my coaching. And that’s when I started thinking that I could create something or a service that gave me what yoga gave me with the detailed coaching and the way I see the body, which is really good at meeting people where they’re at, who don’t move well.

People who don’t take cues well, people who are deconditioned, people who are uncoordinated with their body, people who can’t handle multiple instructions at once, which is about everybody. Which is most people. And that’s when I kind of blended both of those worlds and created a service called mindful movement.

Zac: You’ve essentially made yoga so much easier to execute for a lot of different people, which allows those less flexible people to get similar benefits. because you get a wide variety of clients.

Have you noticed if mindful movement carries over into the gym?

Lucy: Their ability to take cues.

Zac: So, it’s made your job even easier, even though you already make it easy with your coaching?

Lucy: It’s crazy. I can just sit down and not do anything. And I’ve been talking to them about it all week. Last week. “Will someone mess something up because this is way too easy?” So, we started the service last year, during the meditation challenge. It has since evolved from then; from the one-on-one sessions, and then into actual classes once the pandemic hit.

Zac: What’s a typical session like? So, you got, say, it’s the first time someone is attending your mindful movement. What does that entail?

Lucy: Oh, I would say it’s very similar to like a strength training session with two or three try sets. We pick three different exercises, go through them. I don’t do reps. I do more for time just because everybody moves at a different pace.

It’s a lot of the same cues that I use on the training floor, which, if you’re watching this, it’s focusing on the stack position, focusing on all of the skills or being able to coordinate your body in a way where you’re achieving certain positions and certain moves.

The only way to talk to Zac

I’m introducing one cue at a time and that’s all they’re paying attention to. And that’s why, what I said before, it’s making my job easier because that’s all they have to focus on is that one cue.

So, an example of that would be one that I like to start with is in the supine position with their feet in a 90/90 position. Usually, when you introduce this exercise, people try to put everything together all at once: “Okay, tuck here and I’ll fully exhale and I’ll keep the ab tension and reach and don’t shrug and don’t lose a tuck.” It’s usually a complete failure. Or it’s not a failure because you’re really good at coaching, but the client is not competent in that move.

You might’ve gotten them there, but they don’t even know how they got there.

Zac: Yes. They need you to complete the tasks..

Lucy: I did that in the past so much, and it was probably an ego boost of like, I just got this person in this position.

But then when I asked them “How was that?” They’re like, “I don’t know what just happened.” Or they you them, “Where did you feel that?” And they say, “Oh, I don’t know. Let me do that again.”

Zac: Yes.

Lucy: So, with mindful movement, what I ended up doing was retracting all of those cues and introducing one cue at a time. And it’s the example, the 90/90 position legs don’t do anything. All they’re focusing on is that full exhale. So, it’s in through the nose, full exhale, and I’m telling them the count, try to get the 10 seconds and then just breathe in however. And then back over and over again. Breathe in through your nose, full breath out. And the goal is, each exhale you’re going further and further and you’re trying to count to like 10 to 12 seconds. And that’s all they’re focusing on.

The way I see it is like taking a dance class. It’s, you’re focusing on like taking a step forward and taking a step back and taking a step forward. And you’re just really getting used to like what that feels like. And then I build up on top of that. And so that’s the first set.

The second set, I tell them to do the same thing, “Full exhale, at the end of the exhale, you should feel some abs. So, hold that air out and even say in your head, holding onto the tension and then letting it go.” And then that’s what they’re focusing on for, I think probably two minutes that I let them go.

Zac: So, you don’t even mention Ab tension at all with the first round. It’s just like the component of exhaling getting air out. And then you’re building on top of that?

Lucy: Yes. Or I might check in like, towards the end, like “Everybody feeling abs at the end?” Because they’re holding their air out. And I just get that confirmation of they are feeling abs. And if someone is like waving their hand saying, “No,” I’ll try to address it there. Like “Try to exhale a little harder. So, if you’re not feeling abs exhale harder.”

So, I’m getting the steps that are required to get me to the end goal, which is a full exhale with the ab tension and then breathing underneath that tension. So, they do that for the first set. Second set, they’re doing the same thing holding for five seconds. And I also give them the right expectation. Like “This is going to be uncomfortable. If you feel uncomfortable, you’re doing it right.” Which I think coaches fail with that as well.

So, in their head, they’re literally differentiating. And I tell them, that’s their focus of holding onto the tension and then letting it go. Holding onto the tension and letting it go. So same thing. Like “Step forward, step back.” Because when people can hold onto the tension and breathe in, usually the reaction is like, “Did I do it right?” Because they have no idea.

So, the third round, same thing: “Holding onto the tension, but this time keep the tension.” They should know what that tension feels like, because they just let it go for like two minutes. So, breathe underneath the tension and then back to the full exhale. So, I’m building up to that end goal.

Usually in that triset, I’m also doing pelvic tuck where they’re only focusing on “Rolling up the hips, feeling hamstrings and letting go. Rolling up the hamstrings or the hips feeling hamstrings and letting go.” And sometimes I’ll put those together. It’s whatever I’m feeling, I usually do it on the fly, depending on who’s in class.

Zac: Kind of your style.

Lucy: Yes.

Zac: Say you got a bunch of newbies, which I would assume you’re triset with them be one move to focus on the tuck, one to exhale, then reaching for the third.

Once you have all that built up, then what does the second try set look like? Like if someone gets it with those, do you try to combine or do you focus on other things?

Lucy: I will usually move on to things like all fours. So, we’ll either do some inverted quadrupeds or quadrupeds tucking, and where I tell them “The three main things that you’re doing in the entire class, which is training your body to pay attention and being coordinated with your body.” Which is also a huge thing.

Instead of telling them “You’re learning how to do things right.” They’re focusing on a cue that I’m giving them. “So, I want you to do something a certain way. I want you to roll your hips instead of picking up your hips. So, you have to pay attention to that.” I’m giving them a visual to pay attention to. Deflating their body, inflating, peeling, melting, and then I’m also giving them a feeling. So, if they’re doing it the way I’m asking them to do it, I should be calling out the right muscles.

“You should be feeling your abs at the end of the exhale, or you should be feeling your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the tuck.” I’m telling them what to pay attention to.

After we do the things like supine, reaching, exhaling, I usually move on to quadrupeds where I’m telling them to pay attention to their back pockets. So that’s one of my favorite Quadruped tucking where they’re inhaling, pulling the back pockets down, exhaling, pulling the back pockets back up.

And I do, which is also taboo for people who are into breathing extension. So yes, don’t freak out. I do let people arch their back, but this is what I say.

I tell them to “Work with what you have.” Because I do want people to be able to arch their back and be okay, even if it’s a little bit uncomfortable. So like, this is what the class is for, is being able to move your body and be fine. We’re not loading it.

What I say is “Work with what you have. Move as much as possible. As long as it feels good.” So, for me, it’s going to be very extreme. I can arch my back all the way and then tuck all the way.

But someone who’s a little stiff. I don’t want them to look like me and I don’t want them to think that they need to look like me. They’re working with what they have and I’m telling them, “You are differentiating between tucking and untucking. Your back pockets are either down or they’re up. So, if you get distracted, where are the back pockets? Either up or they’re down.”

And then I’ll move into some supine, like putting it together, like supine reaching like an ISO dead bug and working with that. And then a lot of squatting.

Zac: Squatty squats. I’m sure.

The only way to squat!

Lucy: Yes. Squat holds. Where they’re focusing on the same thing, the same move that they’ve been practicing, the same exhaling, the same feed. So, I’m just telling them all the things to just pay attention to. And we progressed from there.

Zac: This is nice. You give an external cue, back pockets. You give an internal cue, tuck your hips. And then you almost get like an inter receptive cue. Like, “What am I feeling within me?” And that’s good because if someone doesn’t hit one and two, they might hit three and then they’ll know that they’re doing it correctly. So, I think that’s really good to build in that redundancy because it makes your job easier.

Lucy: Yes. And what I learned actually recently, I’ve always done the three things. But now I see it or I can see why it works. Apparently, people need three things to see a pattern. So, if you can describe something three different ways, then they can almost see the big picture of – if I just say “You’re reaching your chest away from your hands.” Like that might not mean anything. But if I give it three different ways, like “Picture the space between your hands and your rib cage, getting away from each other. Think of your upper back getting wide. Think of everything being pushed back.”

And then you’re kind of painting the picture so they can see the cue. Because they don’t know anatomy, they don’t know anything.

Zac: No. They don’t.

Lucy: And they’re not aware of their own body. So, you’re trying to just bring the awareness to them.

Zac: Well, I imagine it probably reduces the frustration. I’ve ran into coaching someone and asking if they feel a specific area. They’ll say, “Well, no.” And then they think they’re doing it wrong.

But if they’re feeling the sense that they’re doing this movement, or they’re envisioning this thing happening, it was within their bodies and you can almost point them towards, “Well, those are activating when you do that. If you can sense that your body’s doing that, then you’re winning!

Side note. How pissed were you when you found out that the rule of threes was a thing and not something you came up with?

Lucy: Really pissed.

Zac: There’s nothing original, happens to me all the time!

Lucy: Yes. I had books on it.

Zac: Really? I’ve heard of rule of thirds in the video. Or when you’re doing PowerPoints where you need to have like two or like three things filled on the PowerPoint and they leave one spot blank.

A consistent approach to coaching

Zac: Why is a consistent approach to movement and training so damn important?

Lucy: It develops a training model that produces clients that are so independent, making your job really easy. You create a training experience where people can socialize and you can catch up with clients because they don’t need to be babysat.

I noticed all of these benefits when I went to the extreme thinking that neutral spine was the only way people need to be lifting because that’s the safe way to lift. Even though I was wrong in that aspect of seeing the body that way and not fixating too much on biomechanics, I couldn’t ignore all the benefits from that approach.

So, I had to figure out how to continue to have this approach and not have all these negative aspects? Because one of the benefits is the client independence, which is crazy. The other benefit is people can get strong, but not be so consistent in the gym, because everything looks very similar, even though an offset step up is different than a goblet hold step up or a higher step up with a zercher hold. It’s still very similar.

Even though we’re loading different tissues, we’re loading similar moves and similar tissues. So, people can get strong and also experienced novelty. I can have a step up increase in weight, but then have different variations in step-ups.

Same thing with squatting. If I build a consistent squat that looks the same pretty much every time, I am going to be able to progress that person by doing different types of squats. That’s how we’re able to have people who’ve been strength training with us for nine years and they’re still being challenged. And we are still able to find things that they struggle with.

And then two, it’s not just about weight. You have all this sense of accomplishment throughout your training program every six weeks, that’s not just attached to how much weight you’re doing.

If we have an exercise that needs to be done a certain way, you now have a goal. Well, half kneeling cable pull down, needs to be done with me keeping my half kneeling position, me pulling down without shrugging without arching my back. So, I have to keep all of these things and do it this way for the next six weeks and feel that gets stronger, feel more coordinated or more efficient.

Even though technically you could totally do more weight if it was just a seated cable pulled down, but our clients don’t see strength training that way. They see all these different exercises like a skill that they get to learn. And I kind of paint that picture like, “Ooh, half kneeling cable pull down. That’s what you get to learn and get stronger in for the next six weeks.” Even though it’s not going to be as challenging technically as a seated cable pull-down where you can totally get more volume and more weight.

Zac: This challenge coincides with what you’re trying to build with your mindful movement. It’s mindful movement under intensity, staying attunded with your body while lifting heavy weights.

With you having consistency with your coaching, that it allows for people to not just want to work with you, but with other trainers who think similarly.

Lucy: Yes. It allows you to share clients. And you can still be your unique coach and have your own personality and people will have favorites. But the problem that a lot of people run into is you cancel when your favorite coach goes out of town and that’s what you don’t want to happen.

That used to happen to us. If I would go out of town, people wouldn’t want to coach with Dave, or he went out of town, his people didn’t want to be coached by me. So being able to have this consistency of how you provide a training experience and how you coach things needs to be pretty consistent.

The importance of working with people in pain or autoimmune diseases

Lucy: It just feels really rewarding to provide a training experience that people who otherwise wouldn’t like to lift at all or had never stepped in the gym or never thought of themselves as lovers of exercise, get them to enjoy a training experience. Or get them to say things like, “I can’t believe I like coming here or I can’t believe it rained and I didn’t cancel.” I get them to that point.

I get these people who have never stepped in the gym or have had horrible experiences and they literally say they hate exercise. And I know that in a month or two or three, however long it takes, they’re going to be a different person. I don’t tell them that just because no one’s going to believe it. But I know.

Zac: You can see the vision down the line and they’re focus right now.

Lucy: Yes. And the joke that I tell some of my clients, because the people that we do attract are very similar. It’s so cool that we have people who would much rather be at home with their spouse, drinking wine or smoking a bowl and watching TV and eating pizza.

But instead, they’re here training twice a week, every week, pretty consistently. Sometimes they fall off because work of deadlines and shit happens. But we created an experience where those types of people are here. Not the gym rats, the meatheads, the people who enjoy fitness, the people who are advertised to join the industry. It’s everyone else, regular people.

The future of healthcare

Lucy: I would want to redefine what it means to be a personal trainer or what it means to be in this industry. And redefine what it takes to be healthy. Because I think come to more of an agreement where perfection is not the goal and being healthy doesn’t mean that your diet is perfect, you’re always sleeping well, that you never do any drugs, that you never drink, that you never have times where you come in, hung over, that you have times where you spend too much time with your friends on the weekends.

Zac: Play video games too long.

We all have our vices (Image by Rafael Javier from Pixabay)

Lucy: Yes. You eat too much pizza. You travel too much and you don’t take care of yourself or you went on too many vacations. So, we’re like, what do we mean to be healthy? And redefining that. And then creating a environment, like a gym environment where that’s what we push for, where we understand that people are social creatures, we understand that people cope in certain ways. And just because we think it’s unhealthy, it doesn’t mean that people should be shamed for it.

Like what’s the difference between you drinking too much caffeine, which most trainers do, and then a client smoking weed? Or drinking a glass of wine at dinner? Like what’s the difference there?

Zac: Or drugs.

Lucy: And also understanding that there’s so many factors in someone’s life that personal trainers have zero control over. So, all we can do is support them. Because I think the idea now is if you see something that’s out of your scope or a roadblock that’s preventing your client from getting results, like sleep apnea or severe mental illness, the idea that you can just easily refer out and things are taken care of is like from a fantasy world, because that doesn’t happen.

One, people might not be able to afford it. Two, they may not even do it.

I’ve asked someone to get a sleep study five times and with three different people and they won’t do it. But I still have to train them. Or someone might have severe mental illness and they’re already seeing a therapist, but they’re still struggling. Or people are still in back pain, even though they’ve gone to the Mayo clinic, Cleveland clinic, seen multiple physical therapists, pain management doctors, they’re still in pain, and I still have to train them.

So, looking at all these other factors and realizing that we don’t have control over that. So what we have to do is learn about them, understand how it works or how it’s impacting our clients and just figure out how to support them best and create a service that meets them where they’re at.

Sum up

  • Exercise, meditation, and walking are the first three areas a brand new client should focus on.
  • Mindful movement involves breaking down specific movement components to eventually progress through the weight room.
  • A consistent approach to coaching similar movements qualities allows for smart progression, variety, and better transfer between trainers.
  • The future of healthcare involves meeting clients where they are at and supporting them in any way they can.