Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Power of Purpose in Building Results

‘If you’re not working with purpose, you’re doing it wrong.’  
The quote is pretty true whether we refer it to the purpose of your professional life, personal life or be it simply your training.

Why write about PURPOSE? Is it not the most basic of all things? and what is it got to do with training oneself or training your client or for the Fitness Industry as a whole?
Ok let me tell you 2 small examples out of many that I have seen in the Fitness Industry.

1st example:
Some months back, a woman in her early 30s enrols for a gym membership. She was overweight and her obvious intention was to lose fat and become strong as she ages. She was very serious to achieve fat loss. It’s been over 6 months one would only see the lady attending freestyle aerobic classes, Zumba, group activity classes and on the days of personal training she practices her kick boxing and some functional activities with her trainer. Probably, she just enjoys that routine.

2nd example:
A 24 year old man, one of my acquaintances joined a gym near his house more than a year ago. In his 20s like most boys he wanted to be strong and have aesthetic body eventually.  I happen to speak to him few days back and came to know he was too bored with the gym type of setup and finally is only continuing MMA classes he used to attend and strongly believes he will eventually be relatively stronger and better looking.

Here, I do see problem with the individuals and their purpose but a bigger problem I see is lack of purpose with the trainers, the gym management and mindset of the people about fitness.  

Fitness Industry is the industry where the consumer most of the times do not know what they want  and what they really need or let me put it this way, for many reasons they don’t know what is best for them. So then, whose responsibility is it to help them define their purpose and guide them correctly to achieve it?

Fitness Industry is a part of the service industry in most countries like India. It is the responsibility of the people working in the industry itself to cater the right and purposeful service to the consumer. Whether you are a Trainer, Nutritionist, MMA Master Trainer, Zumba Instructor or a Sales Representative or the senior management; it’s our responsibility to genuinely guide a client. Kindly understand that I am not against people doing ZUMBA / Aerobics classes / Group classes / MMA etc. However, I see the big problem if these services are being sold in the name of fat loss, building muscle and/or functional strength. It is equally the responsibilty of an individual to seek out genuine fitness counselling before entering any programme, but thanks to the media and abundance of ignorance about fitness sciences, it can often be misleading as to who is a genuine counsellor and who is a sham. So once again the onus is on genuine fitness service providers to provide this distinction to their patrons with sound counselling and advice that is based in genuine science and not in gimmicks.

Any physical activity will surely help people use their energy and burn calories. But what most fitness facilities often do is herd people towards group activities that are more profitable for them - or do not counsel a member who might be going for an activity that does not suit his or her goal just because it comes in the way of short term profits. Fitness Professionals have to understand the purpose behind doing an activity and as professionals of the fitness industry, one should advice what would provide optimal results towards the purpose of the client and give them the correct services or experience. Please understand people are not fools or guinea pigs. Eventually they will find what is working or not working for them and in most cases where they have been conned into a regimen, they will give up shortly and then blame the entire fitness lifestyle for their personal failure. 

When an individual has a well defined purpose and has been well counselled on how to get there, it is unlikely that he/she will sway to fancy marketing gimmicks, short bursts of pleasure that can damage the results, bunk the training and indulge in things that will be detrimental to the achievement of his/her goals. Which means that they will attain their goals successfully. And once an individual has seen results, its very unlikely that they will stray ever again. And once the results have been delivered time after time, you form a bond of trust that overpowers any amount of fancy marketing gimmicks that can be put out there. Raising your value as a professional/service provider and the client's own sense of self accomplishment and sense of pride that comes with the acquisition of genuine knowledge. 

Let’s broadly have a look into the reasons or PURPOSE(S) why people train or indulge in physical activities etc.

1.       Lose fat

2.       Build endurance, strength and hypertrophy

3.       Look good

4.       Sports specific or skills specific (eg. Soccer Player,  MMA fighter)

5.       Interest, fun, Personal challenge and enjoyment (eg. Calisthenics, Zumba, Dance etc.)

We can say the purposes numbered 1 to 3 will be majorly achieved by a good strength and endurance training plan complimented by the right nutrition plan.
Purposes 1, 2, 3, are often NEED SPECIFIC and are generally not realised by the consumers in the fitness industry.
However, beyond that if person also wants to or has a purpose towards the number 4 and 5; specific skill building activities should be planned around the specific needs of the individual and not vice-versa.

After you read this article, whether you are one of the consumers of the fitness industry or one of professionals within the fitness industry or both, just keep PURPOSE on the top of the mind while choosing a training regime. This will keep you focused and much more capable of achieving results by avoiding straying away from your goals. This will do you a lot of good, and to your clients and business itself too. And in the long term it will also foster respect for you and your services as a professional and contribute to the positive growth of the fitness industry and lifestyle. 

Hanoze Hoshang Malesra
MBA, K11 Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Club Manager
An HR professional turned Fitness Professional. Yo-yoed between being a skinny kid to an obese teenager to again a skinny college boy to finally a fitness professional who used his knowledge to turn himself into a fit human being who Deadlifts 2 times his body weight and squats & bench presses 1.25 times the body weight and is still improving. Armed with personal experiences and scientific knowledge, he has a passion for Strength Training and a penchant for counselling clients requiring dire fatloss and muscle gain.

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