28 – The Psychology of the Trainer/Client Relationship

InForm Fitness Founder, Adam Zickerman, welcomes Clinical Psychologist and InForm Fitness Strength Training Instructor, Joshua Cagney to discuss the varied psychological and emotional aspects encountered by both clients and trainers and how high-intensity strength training can be a cathartic experience.


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Josh: The truth is that if we’re doing our jobs effectively as instructors, that’s entirely placing the clients’ needs ahead of our own. We each have an innate need to want to sympathize, to want to offer our sympathies whenever someone suffers a loss or a stressful period of time emotionally, but the long-term consequence of that is we blur those lines. The goal is making sure that you know the client well enough to understand what is going to be most conducive to getting her through a really productive workout. That’s when an instructor is really showing his or her medal, when they’re able to put the clients’ needs ahead of their own.

Tim: Hey InForm Nation, can you believe it? We are already at episode 28 of the InForm Fitness Podcast: Twenty Minutes with New York Times bestselling author, Adam Zickerman and friends. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network and I’m a client of InForm Fitness, and in just a moment, we’ll hear from the founder of InForm Fitness, Adam Zickerman. Sheila Melody, the co-owner of the Toluca Lake location is back with us, and still on vacation is Mike Rogers. Looking forward to having Mike back with us next week, as we interview one of his clients from the Manhattan location, Gretchen Rubin. Next week’s episode is bound to be one of our most popular episodes, and I’ll explain that at the end of this one. Also at the end of the show, I will remind you of our May2017, exclusively for InForm Nation. We have a really cool prize pack, valued at over two hundred bucks, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Remember that voice you heard at the top of the show? That was InForm Fitness trainer/instructor, Joshua Cagney from the Restin, Virginia location. Joshua also happens to be a clinical psychologist, which is why Adam invited him to join us here on The Psychology of the Trainer/Client Relationship. Sometimes after a period of time, those who are being trained become so comfortable with their trainers, they might start to share some intimate details of their life, and the trainer, in essence, becomes their therapist. So where do we draw the line? Can this type of relationship actually help, or hurt the progress of your strength training? Let’s join the conversation with Joshua Cagney, Adam Zickerman, Sheila Melody, and myself, with The Psychology of the Trainer/Client Relationship.

Adam: So first of all, I’ve had this conversation with Josh in person, a resident clinical psychologist/exercise instructor. I was talking about — I was there giving a certification course, and many times when I’m talking with trainers, we talk about how to motivate, how to inspire, how to keep people on track. How to make them feel that, I know this is hard but you can do it anyway and stick with it. During that conversation, we were talking about the relationships that develop over time and that there is a definitely a psychology involved in maintaining these relationships and motivating your client. Then lines start getting blurred, and I hear very often, it’s kind of a pet peeve of mind, and maybe it’s a pet peeve of mine because I’ve been doing this for twenty years now and I’ve seen the damage, I guess. The pet peeve is when I hear that you’re more like my therapist, the client would say. I come here and it’s like a therapy session, or the trainer would say, I feel like I’m a therapist sometimes or I act like a therapist. People come to me, they talk about their problems, they lay it all on me, they can tell me things that they can’t tell anybody else, and I get all that, but when I hear that, the hair on the back of my neck goes up a little bit. Maybe because it’s my twenty years’ experience, and the reason that the hair goes up on my neck is just because there’s a psychology involved in motivating and working with your clients, doesn’t mean that we’re psychologists, and that’s when Josh said, unless you are a psychologist. I realized that Josh is not only an exercise instructor, which was what I was talking to him as, but I then realized that he’s actually a clinical psychologist. So I guess that doesn’t apply to him, he is a psychologist when he’s dealing with psychology of training clients, and we have to be careful, both as clients and trainer, to make sure we’re not blurring those lines, and the instructor doesn’t get all full of himself or herself, thinking that they can actually solve these people’s problems. I think that the client themselves needs to know what their boundaries are as well, and as much as you connect with your trainer, as much as you appreciate your trainer, as much as this trainer builds you up, not just physically but mentally, as much as all of that happens, they’re not their therapist. The reason this is important to me and the reason the hair goes up on the back of my neck is because we end up, both client and instructor, we end up not doing our jobs. What we find happens during the exercise session is a lot of chit chat going on, there’s a lot of wasted time, and the workout suffered. It’s a twenty minute workout, and there’s no way you can be a therapist and a trainer in twenty minutes. So then you lose a client, and this is where my twenty years’ experience comes in. What ends up happening is one day, the client wakes up and says, what the hell am I going there for. I’m getting bored, I’m not feeling the results, I’m feeling a plateau. It’s becoming a chore to go there. Maybe the time before that, the quote unquote therapist trainer said something they didn’t like, the way therapists sometimes do, and then you’ve got your patient not wanting to come back anymore, when they weren’t your patient in the first place. They were your client, the person you were supposed to train, and now that they don’t like you as their therapist anymore, they don’t want to come back. So it’s a slippery slope, and if you’ve been a trainer long enough, you’ve been there. If you’re listening to this and you’re not a trainer but you’re a client of a trainer, and if you’ve been doing this for any amount of time, you might also relate to this trap that we tend to fall into. If you’re listening to this and you’ve never hired a trainer, when you do, or if you do, this is an important thing to keep in mind. So Joshua, being both an instructor and a clinical psychologist, am I making sense? Am I right?

Josh: I think you are absolutely right. From a clinical perspective, one of the things that’s important for a therapist to understand is that we each specialize in something that’s unique. So if I specialize in trauma based therapy, it does not mean that I’m a good marriage counselor, doesn’t make me a good family counselor, and the inverse is true. So when we look at what the specific goal is for any kind of relationship that we have with a client, we need to keep that goal premiere in mind when we develop that relationship. There’s blurred lines that come to play when, based on vulnerability and the relationship that you’ve built, and this is something that you commonly see in a clinical environment when you’re dealing with long-term therapy, where clients will be opening themselves up in ways that make them vulnerable, exposed, and it’s very easy to mis-associate or mis-assign feelings that a client will have towards a therapist based on that vulnerability. Being in the studio isn’t a whole lot different in that regard. You’re in physically compromising positions, you’re in incredibly intense situations under a lot of physical and emotional stress, so you feel incredibly vulnerable for those twenty, thirty minutes at a time. So the net result is, people tend to feel, when they’re working out, open and extremely emotional and extremely anxious and stressed at different points, and the one person that they have contact with is their strength trainer, their instructor. So it’s easy for those lines to get very blurry and it’s absolutely critical for the strength training instructor to be in a position where they have clear boundaries and clear guidelines about what’s appropriate, what’s not, and leading that relationship. I think that you’re actually really on target, I think that’s pretty insightful. Whether it’s twenty years of experience or whether it’s something you’re able to impart to people, it’s important.

Tim: Speaking from the client’s perspective, as a client of InForm Fitness, as you mentioned Josh, it’s a very intimate relationship and connection with that trainer. As you said, we’re vulnerable, we’re hitting muscle failure, but also the environment at InForm Fitness is conducive to building that relationship with your trainer because it’s not a crowded gym. It’s a very private, one-on-one situation so I guess it’s incumbent on the trainer to manage where those lines are, where that blurred line stops.

Josh: It is important, and those boundaries again, they’re not always very clear, and there are

Certainly things that are critical for the client and the trainer to both bare in mind. Ultimately that is what is contributory and what is conducive to achieving the goal that my client is here for in the first place. If you have a client who walks in after having been thrown out by their spouse the night before, they’re not going to be in a position, chances are, to exercise. So that may be an appropriate time to say, you’re just not ready for today, and that’s alright. Take a day, take as much time as you need to be able to put yourself in a position where you’re ready to focus, but that’s part of the boundary. Not saying, please talk to me about what it is that is going on and how can I help, but instead, staying focused on the goal and supporting the client back to what the real mission is.

Sheila: Yes, people come in and they may have gone through something or they may have just received a very disturbing email or phone call or something like that, but they want to continue on their schedule because it helps them to stay feeling normal. I have had people come in and they’re not revealing to me what happened, but then in the middle of the workout, you’re in that really intense position, and after a couple times of exerting that, they can’t hold it in anymore and they start crying because they cannot hold that emotion in anymore, because you’re letting all of that energy go.

Adam: This workout definitely brings out, for me and I’ve seen it with others, it definitely brings out your emotions. It’s an emotional experience with such intensity, and if you have something going on in your life like you just mentioned Sheila, that’s going to pull right on out.

Sheila: We do need to be prepared to deal with situations like that, and understanding the difference between being a therapist and just being encouraging or being able to tell the difference of this person shouldn’t be working out right now. Sometimes just quietly allowing them to move to the next exercise and get through it, we’ve had people say, thank you so much. For instance after the last election, it was very emotional for a lot of people, and some people came in the day after. Especially in L.A, and it was like, we just took people through. They were all saying thank you, thank you for helping me to do something good for myself even though I’m really upset right now, but maybe because in L.A, everybody already has a therapist.

Josh: That’s different than Washington D.C. where everybody needs a therapist.

Tim: For somebody who has been working out at InForm Fitness for quite some time, say with one trainer in particular. You can’t help but have that relationship build. You’re seeing that person every single week, you’re vulnerable with them. There is a little bit of time between some of the machines and the exercises, and a good trainer, I believe, will find their client’s interests and use those interests to motivate them through those exercises, so there’s a connection that’s made there. As in any relationship, it grows, there’s ebb and flow, but do you think after a certain period of time, where it gets too comfortable, maybe it’s okay or you should shift to a different trainer to kind of mix it up a little bit or start over again? What do you think about that?

Josh: I think that’s a healthy question to ask, but I think there is no one size fits all answer. This is really entirely dependent upon what the client is like, what their disposition is, what their needs and goals are, and then what the trainer is able to give them. So when we’re talking about someone who is developing a relationship and a degree of trust, that’s not really something that is easily transferrable to another trainer, because we personalize that. So outside of that, when you’re looking for something that’s ultimately going to be most enhancing component of a relationship for a specific client, maybe it is breaking away from that personal relationship and creating something that’s much more concrete and core.

Adam: When you’re a sole practitioner and you don’t work for a company like InForm Fitness and you’re the trainer, it’s hard to give them to somebody else, one of your colleagues, and kind of swap out. So that’s not even always an option.

Josh: Particularly if your income is based on client retention.

Adam: That’s what you mentioned earlier before, Josh, the mindfulness of knowing when to speak, when not to speak. Knowing what to say, what not to say. They’re coming in in a very emotional state. It reminded me of a client that I have whose sister passed away, and she’s a client for a year. When I first met her, her dog had passed away, and I remembered how as soon as it brought it up with her, how are you doing with the dog, she’d get all teary eyed and the workout kind of suffered. Now her sister passed away about a year later, and I knew better this time. So it was interesting how I didn’t say anything to her. Now here’s somebody whose sister died, she comes to her workout, and I don’t even give her a hug like hey, sorry, because I just know how that sets her off. It might have seemed insensitive but I think she really appreciates it because she comes in, we go in there, we work out. I don’t say much, and she leaves and every once in a while, we’ll talk after the workout, and I’ll say next week, we’ll talk about the future of her plans and stuff like that because we are friendly, and she says I’m not quite ready for this or that, she’ll say. I’ve had a tough year. She knows I know what she’s talking about, yet I’ve never even sent her a condolence. I know when I see it in her eyes, she looks at me when we talk about these things, that she appreciates the fact that I’m not talking about it.

Sheila: I know I can be like that.

Adam: This is one of those cases where you just don’t bring it up. She knows you know, she knows you care, and because you care, she knows this is why you’re acting this way.

Tim: Well that’s because of the relationship that you’ve build with her through the last year or so, but there might be some others that think how insensitive for them to act as though nothing has happened.

Adam: Including me. I’m listening to this conversation with us right now, and I’m finally — this is like therapy for me, because I’m realizing I’m even judging myself. Like I can’t believe I didn’t say anything, but I just didn’t feel right to say something, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my own discomfort that I didn’t say anything and my own avoidance. So if you’re listening to this and you just listen to this podcast because you want to learn about techniques of training and health, and how exercise is related to that, so why this conversation? How is this going to help me, you might ask yourself, if I’m not a trainer or I don’t have a trainer. At first, I think Josh hit on something, and that is knowing whether you should work out or not. We have somebody come in here after some kind of bad news or tragedy, and it might be too soon. I know they want to keep their schedule, I know they want to keep their routine, maybe but maybe not, you have to make that judgment as a trainer, to say to somebody, maybe today is not the day. Let’s sit down, let’s have a cup of coffee, no charge, let’s just sit down and talk for a second and I’ll see you next week. Other times, you might say to yourself as an instructor who is confronted with this particular person, say you know what, let’s go in there, let’s workout, let’s not talk, let’s just get this thing over with and do it. Let’s just focus on the workout, that’d be the best thing for you. Let’s face it, this is meditation. A high intensity workout done properly — I had one client who I loved to death, he’s definitely somebody I admire and has influenced me in a lot of ways. Very successful business man, has a great mental fortitude, discipline, and he knows himself, a guy I admire, and I remember him saying to me, I love this workout because it’s the only time in my week that I’m concentrating on just one thing for twenty minutes, it’s amazing. It’s freeing for him, and I was like wow! Here’s a guy who is very disciplined in his life always. He always has his stuff together, and he’s saying that this is the thing that he has that keeps him totally focused on one thing and one thing only. So coming from him, that was like a big statement. So I get sometimes you might want to just do that with somebody who has all this stuff going on. I remember during a financial crisis, especially in Manhattan, I had guys that worked for [Inaudible: 00:18:53], guys that worked for Bear Sterns, coming in and I’m thinking these guys are going to cancel left and right, and gals for that matter, and they weren’t. Matter of fact, they looked crappy, they looked beat up, but they came in and said, thank god I have this.

Sheila: I also think it’s very important to maintain — to remember that it’s good to make people laugh and to feel like they’re having a good time. That’s how we kind of — we’re like a family environment in Toluca Lake, and make people have a good time because I’ve recently heard, even in that Secret Life of Fat book and in some things that Gretchen Rubin’s podcast and things they’ve done, studies that they’ve done about people who watch a funny movie or laugh about something, and they actually become stronger. They can maintain a little longer, so I think it’s important to keep that mood fun and happy, and that’s kind of what we try to do, and then the clients are competing with each other and things like that. So we try to keep that environment like a fun place so that they want to come in and they know they’ll be uplifted.

Adam: Good point. Levity in the face of a very intense workout can be very helpful, just not while they’re in the middle of a set.

Tim: Agreed. When I’m in failure, I do not need to laugh.

Adam: I’m guilty of that. I think we might all be guilty of that. I am so guilty of like saying something to a client when in the middle of a set, it cracks them up and they laugh and I’m like, why did I just say that, that was the dumbest thing I just did.

Tim: Agreed though. As a client coming in, I love the levity, I love the family atmosphere, that can only be achieved through connection. That’s one of the reasons that I like to keep coming back, is because of that connection, those friends, that community that you instill over there at Toluca Lake and I’m sure at all of the other locations as well.

Adam: Well it’s important, but it’s a bit of irony because it is a very intense, serious workout. Twenty minutes in and out, we’re not wasting your time. It’s not necessarily a coddling thing, but at the same time, we should all be excited that — first of all, as instructors we’re doing incredible work and for me, it’s very fulfilling to do this kind of work, very rewarding, but also it’s fun. In a way, even though it’s a serious workout, we’re rejoicing in this fact, this idea, that we’re getting incredibly strong and healthy from a twenty minute thing. Whether it’s InForm Fitness or any of the other great practitioners out there who are understanding brief intense workouts are where it’s at. There is joy in that, that there is rejoicing, there is fun. We have lightening in a bottle and I almost feel like to a lot of people, it’s still a secret in a way and I don’t want to it to be this way, I want the whole mainstream to be understanding. In the mean time, I feel like I’m in an exclusive club, that we know something that nobody else does, but there’s too much at stake to keep this a secret. So many people are not working out at all because they think they have to do everything. There’s people working out too much, and listening to your advice that intensity at all costs and more is better and you got all those problems. So not only are we helping one person at a time, but wouldn’t it be unbelievable if all of a sudden, as a society, the paradigm shift is what we’re doing and everyone understands less is more? That would be fantastic. For the person who is listening to this that doesn’t have a trainer, who is not a trainer, your emotions are important. Your emotions when you go into a workout are really important and it’s okay to miss a workout if you’re just not mentally up for it, that’s okay. It’s a once or a twice a week thing anyways, so it’s not like you’re not going to lose all your gain so to speak if you miss your Monday workout. As a matter of a fact, if you’re an emotional wreck and you try to do it, you might lose focus, you might get hurt because you don’t have the focus. It’ll be a sub-par workout, it’s just not something that you necessarily have to do just because it’s your day and you want to keep your routine, and you don’t want to think about it.

Tim: So how much of this do you bring into your training when people are being certified, this component of managing the relationship.

Adam: I end up talking about this stuff a lot, sometimes to the detriment of what it needs to be taught also. Sometimes two days of the workout will go by and I’ll find that we talked a lot about these types of things, and then I realize oh darn, I didn’t go over glycolysis with you guys did I?

Sheila: One of the number one things you tell us —

Adam: And that’s on the test, so you need to know glycolysis here.

Sheila: One of the number one things you tell us and teach us is to connect with that client. We have to connect with the client in order to understand what their needs are, and to be able to design the workout for them, to make it work for them.

Tim: The client, I can just speak for myself, we don’t want a robotic experience so again, that’s where the lines come in, the blurred lines. How close are the InForm Fitness trainers supposed to get to the clients? Would you encourage outside activities between the trainer and the client, is that something that shouldn’t be approached, or is there a definite yes or no answer to something like that?

Josh: I think honestly that one of the most critical things that we have to embrace at InForm Fitness, and I think this is truer than it is for conventional exercise personal trainers, is that I work with every client to teach them about mindfulness and self-awareness. This isn’t just about a philosophical abstract idea of mindfulness, it is about being conscious of what is going on so that your mind controls the pattern of thought, throughout a stressful situation. So that there is judgment removed from what’s going on associated with pain or discomfort, and instead, the mind is able to be focused purely on breathing. Focused on what muscles are being used, focused on the position of the shoulders relative to the hips. The goal ultimately is to create maximized performance. There’s just a tremendous amount of research that’s been done in the last 30 years or so about mindfulness training for top performance and top athletes. The relationship between the head and the body is overwhelming. That’s something that I think we commonly understand to be true, but the mental gain, the metal component, the mental skill set of what we’re trying to help InForm Fitness clients achieve is the level of awareness of what their body is doing, and a level of calm, devoid of anxiety, when they start to feel the anxiety build. When they start to feel the tension to build in their body, to be calm in the moment, to focus on letting go of the results and instead, let the results be what they are, and instead just be calm and focused on breathing, presence, and that’s about it. So outside of that, I would suggest that the relationship that we build and the sort of contact that we build with our clients as Adam talks about is something that is being very conscious of the fact that we are instructors. I sort of pull back a bit when somebody refers back to me as a trainer. I’m not training anyone, I’m instructing someone on how to be calm in a time of high stress and tension. Outside of that piece, the physical benefits follow, but the mental piece has to be there at least at a basic level in order for them to build to a point, because without that, intensity can’t come. In every consultation, I encourage clients to follow what I have found, and that is, this is a purely meditative and monastic time. You’re in a very intimate environment where it’s very calm and very peaceful, so to connect yourself with the environment such that you are focused entirely on just a handful of things, the phone, the iPad, the computer, the children, the family, the job, the dead car, all the things that are bothering us emotionally when we walk into the door, they stay at the door of the studio. They do not come in, they’re not allowed. Everything in the studio is purely the relationship between the instructor and the client, and what the client is focused on doing at any given exercise.

Adam: The idea of staying focused, the idea of working out when the conditions are good. Don’t use the excuse not to work out every time you have a little bit of strife, then you can very easily say, I’m not in the mood today and Adam said it’s okay if you’re not in the mood, if you’re emotionally — and then use it as an excuse not to work out. Obviously sometimes you have to kick yourself in the pants and pull yourself from the bootstraps and say Adam, go work out. Right now. Do it, and focus, and try to be meditative. Try to block out all of that stuff, which is exactly what meditation is supposed to be also. You’re focusing on one thing, and understanding that while you’re working out or while you’re meditating, things break through that you don’t want to have break through. Acknowledge it, move on, and keep going. Bring it back, bring it back to what you’re there for. Sometimes, as a trainer we have to understand that the best thing we can do is get out of our client’s way and I think sometimes we are too empathetic. We try to be more empathetic, and we end up not giving them what they need which is a really good, kick butt workout that doesn’t allow all these distractions to come in, and helping them to really focus.

Josh: Adam, I think you hit the nail on the head. I think what we’re really looking at when we look at the example you spoke about earlier with the client who had suffered a death in the family, where you were judging yourself by not being more empathetic, not offering your sympathies for the loss. The truth is that if we’re doing our jobs effectively as instructors, that’s entirely placing the client’s needs ahead of our own. We each have an innate need to want to sympathize, to want to offer our sympathies whenever someone suffers a loss or a stressful period of time emotionally, but the long-term consequence of that is we blur those lines. When those lines and those boundaries stay clear is when I’m placing the client’s needs ahead of my own, as you did by recognizing that your client is going to most benefit from not talking about something, that she talks about probably the other twenty three and a half hours out of the day.

Adam: My wife has to know this. I have to put somebody else’s needs ahead of mine.

Josh: The goal is making sure that you know the client well enough to understand what is going to be most conducive to getting her through a really productive workout. That’s when an instructor is really showing his or her medal, when they’re able to put the clients’ needs ahead of their own.

Sheila: And luckily, our workout is only the twenty minutes or the thirty minutes, so you can completely focus, you don’t have to think about — I have to go in there for an hour and not think about this or not think about that email, phone call, or terrible thing that just happened. So that’s what’s so great about our workout for anybody who is listening and want to give it a try. It’s just as effective and yes, it’s a very cathartic thing to just say okay, for the next twenty minutes, I’m just going to focus on me.

Josh: The truth is that when we talk about — rest is a good segway — when you talk to clients that you only have to work out once or twice a week, I actually suggest to clients that you may only work out once or twice a week. It’s not that you don’t have to do it once a week, you may not do it more than once or twice a week. So then when they walk in with any kind of emotional stress or whatever it is that’s bothering them when they walk in the door, I tell them you may not bring it in here with you. This is your opportunity to not think about it, I am absolutely demanding of you that you leave this at the door. You can pick it up on the way back out, but for the thirty minutes that you’re here, you’re focused solely on what it is that we’re doing together.

Adam: Question that comes up very often with me and clients of ours. When we talk about how you shouldn’t be working out so often, like once or twice a week, and each workout is twenty or thirty minutes. How do you respond to the client that says, but I need exercise for stress relief and I’m afraid once a week for that purpose is not enough. How do you respond to that saying, I want to come three, four times a week but you’re telling me not to. Part of it for me anyway, they’ll say, I need more exercise for stress relief. You’re telling me that I shouldn’t do anything else, and I can’t come here more than once and it’s only twenty minutes. I don’t know if this is for me.

Josh: I think a that’s healthy question to ask, but I think that the simple answer is something that we preach very heavily at InForm Fitness and that is creating a very clear line between constitutes exercise versus what constitutes recreation. With every client, I encourage them to walk, run, bike, swim, whatever it is that they enjoy doing that provides them some physical benefits, but that’s not the primary purpose behind why they do it in the first place. People who run regularly, at some point, they cease to do it purely for the physical benefits, they do it for the endorphin rush, they do it for the stress management, they do it because they disconnect from the world around them. That’s good stress management, so stress management from the physical manifestations, how it builds up our blood pressure, how it builds up muscle tension. Those are all things that we can address concretely here at InForm Fitness, but recreationally, those are the things I encourage clients to deal with. If they really want to do some good stress management techniques, get outside. Go for a walk, take your dog out, take your kids out to a park. Do something that is going to provide stress management and be recreational in the process, that’s good mental health.

Adam: Josh, do you have trouble separating the different hats you wear? Do you find yourself acting like a psychologist with your clients from time to time, do you catch yourself?

Josh: Well yes, but having said that, I think it’s more of an asset for me in the long run, simply because I’m relying on my clinical expertise and education to be able to keep clients focused on what it is that I want them to do. I let my expertise and my experience influence the way that I navigate a relationship with a client, but I never sit down and say, step into my office and tell me about your mother. That’s not what we’re trying to do here, but I think that the point simply is in any environment, when you’re working as a therapist or as an instructor, the goal is going to be to keep the client focused on the specific set of goals. In the studio with InForm Fitness, that specific set of goals is entirely about getting the absolute best performance that I can get out of the client for a thirty minute stretch at a time, so that they’re deeply fatiguing the muscles and achieving a level of intensity that is appropriate for what it is that I’m asking them to do. That environment is totally different in a correctional setting or in a therapist’s office or something like that, but ultimately the drive to achieving those goals, whatever those goals may be, is the same.

Adam: Like I’ve always said, there’s definitely a technology involved in training people. Like Sheila pointed out, it’s so important as an instructor to make that connection. I know plenty of instructors that are technically very good, they can put somebody through an incredible workout, but the experience overall for the client is left flat. They don’t feel a connection to the person that may just seem like they’re just dialing it in. As good as they are. So you can be the greatest technical instructor in the world, if you’re not making that connection, if you’re not figuring out how to motivate, to inspire this person to do what is arguably a very, very hard thing to do, even for just twenty minutes, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to be able to really help these people because they’re not going to stick with it, they’re not going to want to see you. So there’s definitely that psychology that’s really important, so I don’t want people to misunderstand that psychology isn’t involved in being a good instructor. Knowing people listening, being a good listener and hearing what they’re saying, but also knowing what not to say sometimes is also very important, and just to be a listener. Not to be so full of yourself, and think that you’re going to be able to solve all of their problems. The best thing you can do for them, the best thing that I think I can do for them in times is like that is to really, even more so, double down on the quality of the workout at that moment, and even pull back more from a friend position. Almost like a tough love type of thing saying hey, let’s go there. This is for you right now, let’s just go in there and do it. Even if you’re training yourself to maybe have that same attitude sometimes and let it go. When you sit down at that machine or you pick up that barbell, take a deep breath, visualize, let it go, and do the job, be in the moment and do the job.

Tim: Many thanks to InForm Fitness trainer and clinical psychologist Joshua Cagney for joining us here on the InForm Fitness podcast. Hey, if you’re in or around the Washington D.C. area and would like to have Joshua as your high intensity strength trainer, head on over to informfitness.com, click on the Restin, Virginia location, and request Josh. You’ll also find six other InForm Fitness locations across the country, and you’ll see Adam’s blog, InForm Fitness Videos, and every single episode of the InForm podcast there at informfitness.com. Okay, next week: author, award winning podcaster, and happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin joins us here on the show. Gretchen has a new book coming out titled The Four Tendencies: Learn How to Understand Yourself Better, and Also How Influence Others More Effectively. Utilizing the Four Tendencies framework as mentioned in Gretchen’s book, we’ll discuss how those tendencies might affect how you approach your workout, and why exercise is an important component to happiness. And one last thing before I let you go. Remember, here in May 2017, we are giving away a personally autographed copy of Adam’s book, Power of Ten: The Once a Week Fitness Revolution, InForm Fitness apparel in the form of a hat, T-Shirt, and a hoodie jacket, and a device to listen to all the InForm Fitness podcasts, Amazon books, Audiobooks and more, using the Alexa voice service. I’m talking about the Amazon Echo, and if you haven’t seen the Amazon Echo yet, check out the link in the show notes for a full description and even videos explaining what it does and how it works. This is a really cool prize pack, worth over two hundred bucks. Okay so what do you have to do? Step one, leave InForm Fitness a review here in iTunes or on Facebook, Google Plus, Yelp, and even Amazon. If you do, you’ll receive a free training session at an InForm Fitness location nearest you. Step two, take a screenshot and email your review to podcast@informfitness.com. That will be your entry into the grand prize drawing for the all the items I just mentioned, so here are the rules. You can only receive one free training session for your review, however, you can get an entry into the grand prize drawing for each review that you submit, thereby dramatically increasing your chances to win. For instance, if you leave us a review here in iTunes and then one in Yelp and Facebook, you only get one free training session, but three free entries into the grand prize, but you better get on it. You must emails to us by 11:59PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 31st to qualify for the free session and the grand prize. The winner will be announced on our Monday, June 5th episode here on the InForm Fitness podcast. So good luck, and thanks again for joining us. For Sheila Melody, Mike Rogers, and Adam Zickerman of InForm Fitness, I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network.

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