What I Learned at SST

August 24, 2008

Here’s my reflection on three things I learned at SST this summer.

1. How to be a better people person: This was my #1 goal to achieve this summer. Naturally I’m quite a shy, introverted person…which isn’t the greatest personality for a trainer to have if they want to be successful. Plus how can a shy trainer expect their clients to open up to them if they don’t give anything about themselves to their clients? Now, this is not to say that I never opened up, just that it took me a while to do so, and in retrospect it hurt my ability to develop relationships with clients I worked with. I love Mike Boyle’s quote: “They never care how much you know until they know how much you care” So that’s what I spent this summer on, with LOTS of help from our ex-operations manager Pat. Accomplishing this goal of leads leads me to #2…

2. I enjoy coaching: This may seem obvious for anyone who gets into the fitness industry as a trainer, but there’s a difference between traininng and coaching IMO. As I became a better conversationalist and people person, I started to develop relationships with the athletes I coached. It became something more than me just offering exercise instruction. And the more I progressed with developing my interpersonal skills, the more I ended up enjoying my job. It really became fun to go in every day and coach the athletes.   

3. Getting out of my program design patterns: Just like many trainers out there, I have certain methods for a given result I want to achieve that I gravitate to more than others because of the personal experiences I have had. For instance, I’ve always been a low volume for hypertrophy kind of guy, and when I would make programs, this would be reflected in them. But one of the other trainers made me realize the error of my ways. One of our big differences was he was a high volume for hypertrophy kind of guy (I mention hypertrophy a lot since many high school athletes come in just needing to get bigger), so at first I sort of clashed with him early in the summer. I didn’t really like the programs he wrote because I had an ego and always insisted that low volume was the way to go to get these kids to put on muscle mass.

One of the smartest decisions I made all summer was to one day (almost two months after I started) drop my ego! From that day on I started learning so many things from him, and we’d always have good training discussions almost daily. Back to how this relates to program design. What I started realizing after listening to what he had to say, was that everything works at some time; that is BOTH are effective. So I re-adjusted my own workout program to reflect what I had learned, creating a more high volume phase, and voila I started to gain size again in areas that I’ve had a lot of trouble with in the past. Learning this has since made program design a lot easier, and I also worry less about making that perfect program, because I realize as long as its different enough, results will come.

I will probably have at least a Part 2 to this later this week. Truthfully, I have never felt that I have learned so much in such a short period of time. I am sure the experience of this summer will benefit me greatly in my future years. If you’ve made it all the way down here, thanks for reading :)



2 Responses to “What I Learned at SST”

  1. […] by Chris Brown’s What I Learned At SST, here is part 1 of my list of the top things that I took out of my time […]

  2. […] to go along with the video!). Anyways, it good me thinking about something I left out of my posts (Part 1 and Part 2) on what I learned while working at SST in the […]

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