Feel like you don’t “know enough” about nutrition? Feel like you just need to “do another course”? Sick of the stress, frustration and pressure that comes with trying to get clients to change their eating habits? Well it might not be your lack of knowledge thats the limiting variable here.
For years people have come to personal trainers to lose body fat. This is based on the common misconception that “doing loads of exercise” is the key. When in fact it isn’t. (If you want to learn more about that Gregg Slater and I cover all the ins and outs in various courses you can access through an Lift The Bar Membership.)
As we realised that, it drove PT’s towards delivering more and more of the advice that will actually help people lose body fat…which is, of course… nutrition. However, HOW nutrition has been delivered by PT’s can very easily create frustration and confusion on the part of both the client and the PT.
Let’s look at this another way…We know how people need to engage with our exercise service if they want to see results don’t we?
They will need to show up for training sessions consistently, probably at least twice week or complete extra sessions themselves. They will likely need to do some sort of mix of Mobility, Strength, Power and Cardiovascular conditioning. There will be days that they find some things harder and days where they find somethings much easier. But if they are turning up for their sessions we know we can adapt to them and their needs on that day. So that they can keep progressing.
So our clients have an issue…they aren’t as “fit” as they would like to be. And we have a service designed specifically to solve that problem.
Now… let’s contrast that with how nutrition has typically been delivered by Personal Trainers.
Step 1: Bit of a plan or a chat initially.
Step 2: Snatched bits of conversations regarding nutrition between sets or at the end of training sessions.
Step 3: ????????
Is it any wonder that PT’s and often PT clients are left frustrated and confused by nutrition?
A structure like that asks client to jump from 1 to 100 pretty much by themselves as they don’t have a specifically designed service and process to engage with. And it makes PT’s feel massive amounts of pressure to deliver out of the ordinary fat loss results in the context of a service that is designed for exercise.
Imagine if we delivered exercise in the same way….
Step 1: “Here’s an exercise plan. If you follow this you’ll be able to nail your barbell overhead overhead squat in 6 months…”
Step 2: “Ohh lets quickly do a random bit of exercise in this gap in the conversation….”
Step 3: “ Oh….:( your frustrated by your lack of progress….“
Sounds like madness right?
I've recently written a whole lecture for LTB-Training's Applied Phase on setting up a nutrition service because it doesn't matter how much you know about nutrition if how you deliver it isn't effective at delivering a process that helps people focus on it and ultimately build the skills they require. Now I'm not saying PT's should have an all singing all dancing nutrition service because I honestly don't think we should. We are exercise specialists first and foremost.
But if you advertise nutrition support, work out a dedicated structure for the service you want to deliver that solves a problem for the people you want to help. Whether that is a series of automated emails, a very involved consultation process or information videos and accountability, it doesn’t really matter.
You can start this by thinking very careful about who it is you exactly want to help. Next step is to look at what you can or want to deliver.
Written guides? Books? Video’s? 1 to 1 consultations? Group consultations? The options are pretty much only limited by your imagination.
After you have done that bring the two pieces together and design a service that will truly help the people you want to serve. Then you will have a clear nutrition service that is separate from your training service. Just remember that will help many people but not everyone and thats okay. Work on attracting the people it will help.
The outcome is that your clients will be clearer about what they are buying and how to engage with it. And you have less confusion and frustration around your clients progress with their nutrition.
The fitness industry is full of myths, misconceptions and bad information. When starting out in your career it’s hard to know what is right, what is wrong and how to tell the difference.
LTB Training educates and mentors thousands of personal trainers around the UK. Our goal is simple. Provide the best education, in order to produce the best personal trainers. In doing so, we hope to be the solution to a failing fitness industry and an increasingly unhealthy population.