To fix a leaky pipe, most people hire a plumber. Why? Because it’s usually more convenient and less time consuming than doing it yourself. Plumbers have expertise and experience, so we rely on and defer to them to solve a problem. It’s the same reason many people turn to group fitness classes or personal trainers to improve their health and wellness – expertise, experience, and I’ll add accountability to that list. While many people could figure out how to do it on their own, they simply don’t have the time or interest. And frankly, many people prefer being told what to do, because they make numerous decisions every day, and decision fatigue is a real thing (this is why Steve Jobs always wore the same outfit – one less decision to make).
Still, you don’t need to be completely passive in the process. In fact, we encourage our members at Viking Athletics to take some ownership of their own journeys. We want you to achieve your goals, and to enjoy the process. Well, most of it anyway. There will always be movements and/or workouts you dislike (our newest snatch complex is here to stay for a bit. I’m not sorry; it will make you better). To take ownership of your fitness, there are several things we encourage you to do:
- Ask Questions – This is house rule #7. You’re here to learn, not just to do what you’re told. We want you to understand WHY we’re having you do a particular workout, and how it’s going to benefit you. I’m also an advocate of the idea that if a coach cannot explain why they’re making you do a particular movement, then it has no place in your program. There should always be a reason.
- Set Goals – Especially if you’re in a group fitness program (in other words, you’re not doing personal training or remote programming), this can help tailor the experience to you. It may influence your scaling choices, or even how you strategize a metcon. You can have micro goals (a goal for a given day or workout), and macro goals (e.g., a weight you want to eventually squat, the ability to do a pull-up, etc.).
- Talk to Your Coaches! – This ties into #2. Talk to your coach before each metcon to help devise a strategy for that workout. This will be hugely beneficial, especially if you have a micro goal for that day. For macro goals, book a strategy session and we’ll figure out how to help you get where you want to go!
- Read! – We want our membership to be educated. That’s a big part of why we send out our weekly Viking Lore digest. Reading (or listening to podcasts) can get you thinking, help you grow your understanding, and inform your questions so that when you do #1, your questions may be more specific. We don’t mind general questions as well, but the typical answer in the fitness world is “it depends,” (at least, this should be the answer if you’re asking a competent individual). By getting more specific with your questions, we can give better answers.
The more ownership you have in the process, the more likely you are to stay committed, because it will be important to you. And the more educated you are about the process, the more you can ensure that you’re spending your money wisely. Our staff is here to guide, educate, push, and hold you accountable. But we want you to be active in and enjoy the process. So, follow the 4 tips above, and I look forward to meeting with you for goal sessions, and answering your questions. See you in the gym.