You know what I love?
I love it when a client comes up to me and tells me that they left a workout completely gorilla stomped. I love the Facebook updates of an early morning client ranting about how hard that workout was.
I know that I put tough workouts on the board every morning. I know that some of the exercises are expert movements. I know that doing 4 minutes of burpee pull ups feels like you just got body slammed over and over and over again.
I love when clients tell me they get the “Geoff Jitters”.
You know what I hate?
I hate when people say that you don’t have to have to work hard to gain results. I hate the standard nowadays where trainers who have been training themselves for over a decade tell their clients who have been exercising for 3 weeks, that you don’t have to bust ass to get results. While this may be true in the beginning to get them affiliated with the program first, let’s get busy.
I read constantly about the best ways to train a client from the top fitness professionals. I read about how to train myself. I read about how to train others. I read about how to train pregnant women. I read about how to train the elderly. Everyone needs to be trained different. They need to be trained smart. However, each workout should be challenging. Maybe not “gorilla stomped” challenging, but challenging in sense where they can walk out of the gym feeling like their body has physiologically grown.
Jungle Gym is a program that I have dedicated around 3 main variables.
- The people. Community is strength, and without the clients who walk in the room together and walk out together, there is not a Jungle Gym. The moment you see two clients, who are also best friends, peeling themselves off the floor from a hard workout is a moment that I will always treasure. I watch them fist bump each other at the end and congratulate each other. Now that gives me the Geoff Jitters.
- The structure of the workouts. The exercises are the same any other good program would do. Functional and compound exercises that are safe yet effective. Nothing that would compromise a client’s way of living. If a client wants to get stronger, we adjust weight. If a client wants to build muscle, we concentrate the lifts. If a client wants to just be overall healthy, we just walk them through the motions. They all do the same exercises in the same structure, but they do it to their own fitness levels. We can do ball slams, walking lunges, pull ups, and renegade rows in the same workout and it can be simple. Put a repetitious structure and tempo to it that makes sense and that’s where Jungle Gym produces it’s best athletes.
- The push. I was once told that I have a dry and witty way of motivation. That I can find the right words to make someone understand how important that moment in their workout is. I get pretty darn emotional when training. I get pretty upset sometimes when things are misunderstood. Sometimes I feel like a father or teacher instead of a trainer. Sometimes I can be a little harsh. I’m definitely more of a Jillian than a Bob (Biggest Loser reference). I can understand how this may not be the best way of motivation for some. You have to match personalities sometimes. However, all my clients know that before they walk out of the room, no matter what I say to them during the workout, that I care for them. They know that while I may have smacked their butts during the workout without a shred of sympathy, that I’ll be waiting for them by the exit with a smile and a hug. They understand this and it seems to work. Regardless, there is so much laughter that goes on during our workouts that they forget that 3 minutes ago I just got in their face about them telling me “I can’t do that”.
To me, a training program is like a cocktail.
If a bartender makes a drink with to much liquor, it overpowers the drink. It’ll make you sloppier quicker than you can say, “sled pushes”.
If you have a drink where all you can taste is the water or mixer, it’s going to take a lot of money and a lot of drinks to get you to where you want to be.
If you have one made just right, it gets the job done. It has the perfect balance of the good. None of the bad. It’ll leave you pleased. It’ll the get he job done and it won’t leave your soul damaged for the next day.
I’m not out to beat the living crap out of everyone until they can’t walk. However, I’m there to make sure that know why they walked into the gym in the first place.
Think of programs like P90X, Insanity, and CrossFit. We all know the results that people have gotten from these programs. These aren’t your average mamby-pamby programs either. These are all ass-kickers. They push you to your limits and make you question yourself, “And I pay for this?”
You pay for it because it’s something you love. You’re addicted to the sweat and butterflies in your stomach when you know you’re about to do sprints. You love the feeling of overcoming the odds. You love the feeling of wanting to come back the next day and train for it all over again.
So why do some people tell us that workouts aren’t supposed to leave you feeling jittery sometimes? Here lies the title of this blog.
You have to earn it.
It’s just not until recently that I have started coming across a majority of clients that have been training consistently with me for a few years now. They’ve done a very strict diet to get to there physique that they want. They have also hit benchmarks in their lifting. These clients don’t have a passion for competing. Their main goal is to maintain what they have accomplished. This is the moment where I sit down with them and tell them that they have “earned” their way into a slow, methodical training program now. Still lift rather heavy but focus a lot on muscle recovery and technique. They’ve put in the work, still progress, now they can enjoy the ride with some occasional beat downs.
They have totally earned it. I can’t see how someone who wants to be in top physical shape and have an immaculate physique can’t go through some sort of initiation first. Put in the hours, then you can deserve to be a back-up quarterback in the league still making millions of dollars as you sit there watching the young pups earn it. But just in case you need to get in there and kick some ass, you have the ability to.
There are some clients I have that also have no interest in strength and physique. They work out for pure health. These are people I really focus on mobility with. Making sure they go through the motions, but really putting all their focus on conditioning and mobility tools rather than strength tools.
Then there are those. Those that want to change their entire outlook on fitness. They want to have the perfect physique. The perfect strength. They want to be those people that they look up to now. They have no medical history of ailments. These are the ones I push extra hard in fitness and in diet. These are the ones I really focus on extreme workouts. I want them to understand that if they want it . . . they have to earn it.
So no. It’s not all about beat downs and “do it!”. It’s about understanding where you are in fitness and knowing that none of it is easy. If people make it seem like it should be some sort of stroll in the park with out and occasional bump and bruise, then they are wrong.
If fitness was built around the same exercises day in and day out that don’t challenge you, then everyone would be fit and unfortunately America is far from that.
So if you’re reading this Jungle Gym, understand the push I give you isn’t a smack on the hiney nor am I going to wipe your hiney. It’s the hand on your shoulder telling you that I’m here with you. Every excruciating step of the way.
Knowledge is power. Smart methodical training with an approach that has the client knowing that fitness isn’t just about beat downs, but it’s also not about picking flowers. Fitness is a lot about muscle recovery, injury prevention, and rest which fortunately is apart of the process where you work out until you sweat from the elbows.
If you’re looking for a program that focuses on your goals, reach out to me on Facebook or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We have programs for beginners, advanced, wanna-be athletes, middle aged men/women, prenatal programs, and just exercise for great overall health.
This is where your body changes,