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August 7, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Positive mindset: here’s how to get one with Tom Joseph-Sparks

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Hi Tom, thanks for speaking with us about positive mindset!

You’re a fantastic coach and educator, and we’ve been doing some thinking around positive mindset inspired by your page. We’d love to know: why is mindset so important?

“Your positive (or negative) mindset can shape your life - it's the way that you look at the world. If you put on sunglasses when it's dark outside, then you're not going to be able to see that well!

You're not going to be able to respond to your environment or be able to make the best decisions about where you're going.  We need to try and set ourselves up to be in a position where we can succeed and thrive, so we can marry that into our own fitness or health ideals.”

Absolutely. So are there any downsides to people thinking about positive mindset?

“Saying someone's just ‘got a positive mindset’ is very reductionist. It whittles down something that's inherently complicated and personal - that can be quite unhelpful.

People won't just take you up on "Ah yeah, let's just be positive" because we need to be blending an optimistic world view with positive intentions, for success.

Some of the key values in having a positive mindset is first appreciating that it needs to come from within. You need to be confident and happy in yourself!

If you feel strong and resilient and confident, that can be expressed in your interactions. You can then physically or verbally express your mindset in a way that you want to, for example.”

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That makes sense. But what if we have negative feelings, for example?

“You also need to not write off your feelings, because it's about sitting with your emotional responses to things – they are completely valid.

But it's like, okay, I feel this way, but can my rational brain now step in? And how am I going to take steps forward?  Will I sit with these and be comfortable with where I am, or am I going to choose to try and make the best of a situation?

Could I look for that silver lining? Am I going to look for that lesson learnt? Can I now avoid or navigate these same scenarios better, more efficiently, more effectively, while still being true to myself, for instance?”

We’re sold. How do we get started?

“I would start talking up on yourself, be positive about yourself first. This is key to being successful and being positive in your outlook.

Self-talk is the way to start. It’s about being your biggest fan, backing yourself and being comfortable who you are.

Listen to your true, authentic voice and go with it. Trust it. You can then start to try and manifest things outwardly and outside through your physical or verbal interactions.”

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And what about positive mindset for coaches, for their clients?

As a coach, sometimes you have to be your clients’ inner voice. Sometimes you have to be their biggest fan. First of all - you've got to pick them up and give them a nudge, because we all need a social support network. Secondly, as a coach, you have the privilege of being that direct support.

Supporting someone and talking them up is only the beginning. If you don't try and educate someone, challenge their perspective, maybe ask them to think about things differently, you're probably missing a point.

You have to exemplify everything that you believe, and conduct yourself in the way that you encourage other people to do.

Tom Joseph-Sparks (MOst. ND. FAFS. CAFS, MSc Intake 2020) has worked as an elite strength and conditioning coach and osteopath for over ten years and has a wealth of experience in private - sport and musculoskeletal medicine clinics, and the commercial health and fitness industry.

He’s worked with specific named sport and orthopaedic conditions, and individuals with persistent, non-specific aches and pains, using a blend of hand on and exercise-based approaches. 

Tom provides his patients with a more person-centered, lifestyle approach that considers the interplay of an individual’s biology within a unique environmental context. He’s excited by how nutritional medicine, can help grow, expand, and even redefine traditional models of disease prevention, health promotion, rehabilitation, pain management and more.

You can get in touch with Tom via Instagram.

Interested in more interviews with awesome coaches? Check out our chat with Blair Sangster on at-home workouts, motiviation, and the power of your minimum effective dose.

June 5, 2020No Comments

Motivation! How to Get Focused with Coach, Blair Sangster

Motivation - right now, under lockdown, it's a word on everyone's lips.

Today on Fettle, we’re chatting motivation with Blair Sangster – personal trainer, movement coach, and member of the CaveFit team – about how you can get and stay motivated at home.

Blair Sangster - Cave Fit
Blair Sangster - coach, trainer, and people-person!

Blair loves interacting with and learning from people, helping others reach their fitness goals, and going above and beyond to support his community. We thought he was the perfect person to give us some hints and tips.

Hi Blair! First question - how can we muster up the motivation to move more at home? What do you do to keep moving?

Well, I do really love to move! It’s what I do, but there are days when I’m not motivated. That’s when having a routine can be crucial. Bear in mind, when motivating others, there's always different ways to inspire each individual.

Broadly though, having a plan can solve the problem. If you know what you’re going to do, it takes the guess work out. Then, there are some folk that aren’t motivated, even if they have a plan! For them, I recommend the ‘five minute rule’.

Don’t go in with massive expectations, but commit to doing just five minutes, and 90% of the time, you’ll find yourself doing a lot more than you meant to.

Another great way to start is trying an EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) in your warm up or during training. Instead of trying to do three sets of 10 squats/10 push ups/10 burpees, do three of each, every minute, for ten minutes. 

What small things can I do to get started?

Little things can make a difference! Having a routine where you’re getting movement in at the same time every day is a good way to summon up motivation. If you can make going for a walk, stretching, or working out a habit, you’ll find it easier to get started.

If you’ve got a morning routine, adding a workout first thing means it’s done – you can tick it off, and carry on with your day.

Group exercise class
Demonstrating correct form in CaveFit's second location, at The Edinburgh Grand Hotel

What do you recommend if I don't have equipment to hand that normally I rely on?

Bodyweight workouts can be a great way to go! My first port of call would be to use tempos in reps. You can try doing Bulgarian split squats, with one leg on the sofa, or just an air squat. Slow down and count to three as you descend, then to three as you come back up. That really starts to burn!

You can also incorporate ‘half’ movements into your workouts. Try doing a push up, for example. When you reach the bottom of the movement, come halfway up, then drop down again, coming all the way back up to complete the exercise fully. 

Backpacks are also a great option. Fill up as many bottles as you can with water, load them into the backpack and try some squats or a jog. 

Can I really make good progress towards my goals from home?

That does largely depend on what your goals are. If you were trying to get as strong as possible, that might be tricky to do at home. But if your goals were weight loss and fat loss, then you have a great opportunity make progress. 

Small changes can lead to big results – and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can set small goals – like trying to eat five vegetables, and only having one treat a day. If you take a sustainable approach you’re much more likely to see success in the long run. That’s where routine comes in. 

What's a manageable way to stay committed to my fitness?

Having a plan is always a good place to start. Make it into a wall chart, so you can see it. Being flexible is also a good way to get things done. I ask clients to think about their ‘minimum effective dose’. 

What’s that?

A minimum effective dose is basically how much you need to do to maintain your fitness. That might look like doing 3-4 sessions a week, and it might not matter too much when you do those.

Figuring out your minimum effective dose is something you can then commit to doing, and because it is the ‘smallest’ amount you need to do, you have more flexibility in getting it done. 

Tracking progress is also a big one! If you run the same 5km loop every day, try doing 3km, then have a rest, then do another 3km, and try to go faster. If you run different paths and distances, you’ll challenge yourself in new ways. That’s where you’ll see the progress made. 

How could I make a plan if I don’t know where to start? 

There are great resources out there to start with, but we get overly spoiled for choice sometimes! Reaching out to someone that you like and trust is a great way to go. It builds in a sense of accountability and reassurance.

One piece of advice I’d always give is to figure out your ultimate goal, and then break down how you could start achieving that in the next two weeks. Two weeks gives you a sense of immediacy and purpose. You can achieve a lot more than you think you can. Every day becomes something valuable in helping you reach your goal.

Blair exercising
Blair in action!

Thanks, Blair! If you enjoyed this – tell us! And if you want more great advice on motivation from Blair, you can find him @blair_cavefit on Instagram.

If you just want to say hi, you can mosey over to our Facebook, and Instagram pages, or ping us an email here! Otherwise, check out our post on Online Coaching Success, to help you really nail the digital game.

May 7, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Community, Choice, Connection – What Your Clients Really Need

Business, at its core, is about community and connection.

You’re part of the health, wellness and fitness community for a reason – and that reason is connection.

The best businesses are always those that focus on human interaction first, and transaction second.

Why? Because that’s the best way to forge connections, of course – by being genuinely interested in someone, and the things that make them unique.

But now we’re in a ‘new normal’, navigating lockdown, and suddenly, forging that connection seems much harder than it usually is!

We can solve this puzzle by going back to the focus of your business, though – your customer.

By anticipating and proactively meeting new needs during the pandemic you won’t just be supporting clients in the short-term – you’ll be setting up for serious business success.

So the biggest question now is…what does your client really need?

Freedom!

No Braveheart jokes, please.

Freedom has been shown to be the number one need of people living under lockdown. Now, that’s a bit of a no-brainer, but the need to be free is a human fundamental.

We’re used to being able to make multiple tiny choices a day.

It can be as simple as choosing to try that new Dalgona coffee, or to stick with your flat white. Whether you’ll go to this pub or that bar after work. Even pretending to peruse Pret’s Veggie cooler before snaffling that cheesy croissant is temporarily a thing of the past!

Your clients need to feel that they have some freedom – and you’re in a unique position to help them do just that.

How? We’ve got a few suggestions:

Proactively ask your community for their feedback

Who doesn’t love to give their opinion? We’ve all got so much time, that we’re in a fantastic position to really get to know our clients, and figure out what they want.

Asking for their input not only help you hone your offering, but it makes people feel special and valued.

Consider flexible payments

C-19 has definitely thrown a spanner in the proverbial financial works! What can you do to help someone feel free? It might seem scary in the short-term, but figuring out how you can make flexible payments work for your community could be key in putting your client back in the driving seat.

If you’ve traditionally offered a monthly subscription, think about pay-as-you go classes. Offer value to your clients and capture new ones by devising a quick, free workout template to keep people moving under quarantine.

Offer video on demand

How often have you said you’ll work out this evening, just like you did pre-C-19, only to find that you’re on the sofa at 6pm with a glass of wine, covered in crisps? We’re creatures of habit – but when our daily structures go up in smoke, we find it easier to make excuses.

We’ve all been there – no judgement. But if your clients traditionally got their sweat on with you at specific times, there’s room now for you to offer flexible classes through a video on demand service (VOD).

VOD is awesome – because your clients get to move, stretch, and sweat with you whenever they like. Their freedom to do that is more important than ever before – so make sure you’re meeting that need.

A feeling of control

One of the most crucial things we’re struggling with right now is our inability to control the situation we’re in.

C-19 is an invisible force. We can’t see it, so we have to take measures to rightly protect ourselves from the danger that we would never have had to consider a few months ago.

One of the best things any leader in the health, wellness and fitness industry can do is to help give people their power back, by supporting them to take ownership of their progress.

Guidance, trackable progress, and data tools aren’t very sexy, but they are crucial in helping people see how far they’ve come by working with you.

There are some great apps out there, but offering your clients a custom structure through your Fettle platform means they can track their progress and celebrate their results – all in the same place.

A sense of community

How often have we heard the phrase ‘humans are social creatures’? It’s a cliché because it’s true!

The feeling of mid-sesh high fives, sweaty hugs, a class exhaling together in savasana – these are some of the best moments during our fitness journeys.

More isolated than ever before, lockdown has put an end to physical community for the present moment. But what of our digital communities?

Offering live streamed workouts for your clients can help them rightfully feel like they’re part of a bigger community, that they’re connected with you and supported as they work to reach their goals.

You can also offer chat spaces in your Fettle platform, highlight members’ progress on your social accounts. Reach out to those you’ve not seen for a little while, just to check in.

Whilst these efforts might seem insignificant, this sense of authentic, heart-lef community will take your clients and turn them into customers for life.

We want to hear how these tips work for your brand! How are you navigating customers needs during C-19?

And if you want to understand how Fettle can help you connect better than ever with your clients, get in touch now at fettle.io/contact. Let's get your business thriving, despite the circumstances.

Looking for more fitness inspiration? Get in touch via Facebook, and Instagram, or ping us an email here!

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