Why do most people join Viking Athletics for coaching? Much of what we teach can be self-taught, and those of you who have been with us for years certainly know enough to do it on your own. Coaching largely comes down to 2 things: education, and accountability. We hammer the education piece in class, through our blog, podcast, and in the Viking Lore newsletters. Accountability is the bigger issue. Having someone to report to, be it your friends in class, your coach, or your own pocketbook (obviously we charge more than Planet Fitness), makes it more likely that you’ll attend classes. And our coaches are here to help. But coaches struggle too. We’re human, after all. We face the same obstacles as our members, and much of what we teach comes from personal experience.
What do I mean? The accountability piece is huge. I consider program design to be my area of expertise – I’ve been doing it for a dozen years. I’ve trained recreational CrossFitters, competitive CrossFitters, people for military prep, people training for aesthetics, people training for fat loss, team sports athletes, pro/semi-pro/former pro athletes, and nationally competitive athletes in powerlifting, strongman, and weightlifting. I could EASILY write the perfect program for myself. It would involve a ton of movements I hate. But would I push where I’m supposed to, or sandbag the conditioning? Would I even complete the stuff I don’t like? Maybe, depending on the day. It’s much easier to quit when you’re only accountable to yourself.
In a similar vein, motivation is a feeling that ebbs and flows. Coaches struggle with that, too. Sometimes, when we’ve been in the gym for a few hours, the LAST thing we want to do is train. Sometimes it happens when we get up to train first thing in the morning, too. When that happens, we rely on our habits to carry us through. Moving, even a little, helps kick start some motivation. So when we’re in the gym and don’t feel like doing much, even a quick, 2 minute row can change our attitudes. We convey this trick to our membership because we know it works.
In a personal anecdote, I had an awful week. I didn’t feel like training, and it showed. I failed a squat at 30 lbs under what was supposed to be my top set. I tried to refocus and push my accessory lifts instead. No dice. It was a mental battle to get them done at all. What got me through? I pay $275 per month to my coach, and I hate wasting money. (As an aside, I get custom programming and video review if I take videos. My interactions with my coach are limited. Our membership really does get a phenomenal bargain here.)
What is the point of all this? To show that coaches are human. Some people have the perception that we’re in the building all day, so we must work out all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Coaches struggle with training, motivation, and diet, just like all of our members. We’re not sitting up on a lofty perch looking down on and judging you for your struggles. When we have suggestions, it’s because we’ve been there, and we know what you’re going through. We’ve walked this path before, and we’re happy to walk it with you, because we now know the way. Let us help you; talk to a coach. See you in the gym.