You Be the Trainer #5

By Monique Ames, Carey Kepler, Andy Petranek and Tony Budding

In Coaching

January 26, 2010

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The You Be the Trainer series gives the CrossFit community a chance to compare their training savvy with top CrossFit coaches. In this edition, Monique Ames, Carey Kepler and Andy Petranek talk about motivating a client whose family commitments and nagging injuries are making it difficult to get to the box.

Joan got hooked on CrossFit a few years back, but a busy family schedule and several annoying injuries have sapped her drive. She isn’t setting anymore PRs, and her attendance is slipping. She’s on the verge of leaving CrossFit and potentially eliminating any sort of fitness from her life.

Is Joan too busy to stay fit? How do you get her motivated again?

The CrossFit Journal posed those questions to the community on Jan. 24, with several trainers chiming in with great advice. Check out what they had to say here and add your own solution to Joan’s problem. Then read the complete article and debate the solutions presented by affiliate owners Monique Ames (CrossFit Evolution), Carey Kepler (CrossFit Central), Andy Petranek (CrossFit L.A.) and Tony Budding of CrossFit HQ.

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9 Comments on “You Be the Trainer #5”


wrote …

Great ideas from all the trainers. Nice thinking Monique! Good idea emphasizing the gymnastics warm up. It does wonders for motivation.


wrote …

All great, I can see that as trainers we all need to understand that there is much more to the trainer/trainee relationship than just putting people through workouts. I usually do the interpersonal relations at the end of a work out but I guess it depends on the client. Kudos on the idea that its better to show you care about the person than to push and push to sell services. This is why I love crossfit.


wrote …

Any specific "consequences" that people have used in the past to help with accountability? Say somebody misses one of two weekly workouts at the gym, what would a good consequence be, or too many "cheat meals" in one month's time?


Hey Colin, in my opinion as a trainer and former competitive athlete, consequences are meaningless if you aren't committed. A trainer is a coach and a motivator often times but at the end of the day it's up to the client to want it enough to commit themselves. It's like the old adage, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it strict zone!


I know how often every member comes in (cause I track it). If they come in once (and they are 2x/week) or they come in 2x (and they are unlimited), or they flat out skip a week... I know it. Not only do they get a phone call, but also a Facebook call-out on their wall... and an email to be sure. This works for everyone!! Gets them right in, especially the FB. Nothing like being called out in front of all your friends.


wrote …

Re: Consequences

Context is everything. Which is a fancy way of saying "different strokes for different folks." Or "it all depends."

An Army Ranger who went on to run an affiliate told me one of his earliest lessons learned was that "motivational" techniques that work on 20-year-old male Soldiers don't necessarily work on 50-year-old female executives.

But another affiliate owner told me of his success after he "busted" a client for eating a pre-workout ice cream cone in the parking lot. They has previously discussed the importance of eliminating junk food and she had agreed to mend her evil ways. So her WOD for their private ended up being 100 burpies for time. After the first 50, she said "I get the point." To which he replied:"Glad to hear it. But you still owe me another 50." So she did the rest of the workout, and the incident cemented their relationship. But the same technique could have ended the relationship in another situation -- or with another client.


Tom Seryak wrote …

Ask open ended questions that require the client to think and come up with their own solutions...Petranek's approach does exactly this.


wrote …

Andy wins. I'd have told her to take 4 weeks off of CrossFit and then come talk to me: elbow heals, more time to get life in order & more pent-up desire to workout.


wrote …

I know Andy's style is more like what I would choose, but just seeing the spectrum of what could be done was very interesting. Best YBTT I've yet read, thanks. Got a lot of new thoughts going.

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