The following is a guest post from one of our clients, Tim Murphy. Since he began training with Kyle at our Zionsville location in 2014, Tim has lost over 70 pounds, reduced his waist size from 40 to 28 and reduced his suit size from 48 portly to 38 slim, among improvements to other key health metrics. To hear more about how 20 Minutes A Week has benefited Tim, check out his Client Spotlight.

By Timothy J Murphy, CAE

Back in July 2014, when I walked through the door of Exercise Inc in Zionsville for the first time, I immediately noticed three words on the door; “Private; Personal; Professional”. Up to this point, I really hoped that Exercise Inc was different from other fitness programs at which I had tried and failed; now I inherently knew it was.

The “private” part of the program appealed to me because I wasn’t in good physical shape then, and I had been somewhat embarrassed in gyms I had tried before; largely due to my lack of form, as well as ability to look like I knew what I was doing. And I certainly couldn’t sling the weight around like the other 30 guys in the weight area of the “mega-gym” I joined (but seldom attended!)

The “professional” part was easy to discern right away. The space had a professional look and feel. There was no music, no loud noises; just quiet conversation between coach and client, and among clients waiting for their sessions to start. The lobby and waiting area reminded me more of a law firm or other professional office suite. What a contrast to what I had known before!

But the “professional” aspect goes way beyond aesthetics and impression; it’s the very reason this regimen works so well. You wouldn’t dream of representing yourself in court, or sewing up a wound that required suturing. So why do people feel imminently qualified to self-create regimens to fine tune the intricate and incredibly complex human musculoskeletal system and the nutrition of the entire body? This is where your coach comes in, with specific knowledge, study, and training designed to keep you strong and healthy, but also safe in the process.

The “personal” part was a foreign concept to me in the fitness world. How could working out in a regular gym – even with a “personal trainer” – actually be truly personal? I’d had a personal trainer before. I liked him, but he always had three or four clients at the same time; or bounced back and forth between them while I was working out unsupervised. But after I was greeted by my coach Kyle, and we began the initial consultation, I knew that the personal aspect was going to be what made me want to do this even more.

We discussed my fitness goals at length, as well as in depth. I could tell from the start that he had a vested interest in my success, and it really was on a most personal level. I had to be prepared to listen, learn, and implement the strategies he created for me, and engage the new lifestyle with enthusiasm. I was able to do that because that terrific coach, among his other roles, is also my personal “cheerleader”.

I have always maintained that success comes when one is not only properly motivated, but is encouraged by others as well. My coach is the source of encouragement, advice, counsel, information, and strategy. Try getting that from a treadmill or an elliptical machine (even if they DO have cool TV screens on them now that make you think you’re running on a beach)! A programmed electronic device, however, doesn’t care if you succeed or not, and can’t teach you the things you need to implement your fitness strategy successfully.

Thus, the coach is really what makes the difference, and your success will be affected by how you interact with him or her. In that spirit, here are a few strategies that will most likely make you successful in your fitness endeavor:

  • Create and maintain trust. Your secrets are safe with your coach; know that he/she won't betray that for any reason at any time, as the coaches ALL take the client confidentiality privilege very seriously. You can talk to your coach about the stressors in your life, your diet, your successes as well as your failures - and that information is used by your coach to keep honing your fitness strategic plan, and it goes nowhere else.
  • Share your personal goals and aspirations, and what obstacles you feel might be limiting you. Let him or her know how you're feeling about your progress, because if you're not enthused or satisfied with your rate of improvement, you'll likely set yourself up for failure.
  • Establish a good rapport with your coach. Let him or her get to know you, and what motivates or frustrates you. Having a good insight into your personality will help your coach keep you on track with your fitness goals.
  • Put forth 120% effort at your session each week. Yes, the exercises can be hard at times, but that's how you know they're working. Perform one more push, pull or lift than you think you can, and walk out that front door completely exhausted yet invigorated. This will assist your coach in knowing what your true limits are, which is vital to adjusting your regimen to achieve your goals faster.

Of those three unique qualities – private, personal, professional – I would never have succeeded in reaching my health and weight benchmarks without the “personal” part. My coach has been there for me, in and out of the studio, when I had questions, or needed advice and encouragement. And that is what made the difference between mediocrity and abject excellence in my fitness journey. All this can be summed up by a quote from the great Coach John Wooden, who said, “A good coach can change a game; A great coach can change a life.” Come see how we’re literally changing lives in 20 minutes a week.

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