I first learned of the law of the lid in John Maxwell’s book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. In essence there is a lid or cap on your growth or potential to succeed in any given subject or area based on the leader you are following, alternatively if you are a leader in your field, you yourself cannot help an individual beyond your own capabilities, education or experience. Seems like a basic concept right?
So when it comes to your health and fitness who are you following? What is their lid? Are they raising their lid? Are they invested in themselves? Have they done any new courses to develop themselves so they can help you better? Maybe you are a trainer yourself, when’s the last time you did anything to grow yourself so you can help grow others?
It may come off judgemental but what type of shape is your trainer in or what is the general fitness standards of the trainers at your local gym? I don’t think PT’s need to rock a 6 pack all year long and I do believe theres some great coaches out there who themselves struggle with body composition or fitness through different periods of life but can they show evidence of ever being in decent shape? If you want to be able to do a 200kg deadlift and they have never done one or coached someone to be able to do one then are you following the right person? We as trainers and leaders need to know when its the right time to move people on or put the ego aside and admit that you cant help someone even though it can come down to the nitty gritty cash money side of things.
So if its results you are after whats your trainers track record? How many people have they helped successfully? Are they actually in shape? Do they have the ability to practice the self discipline that you need to achieve your goal? If not and your results mean more to you than the emotional connection you have to your trainer then maybe its time to let go and move on. At the same time maybe you have the awareness to pull yourself up on your own BS and admit its not actually them, its you…
I don’t believe it is our job as trainers to accept peoples BS and be enablers of shitty habits and behaviours because of fear of offending people or hurting someones feelings OR for fear of losing a client. Feelings are overrated and it is an individuals responsibility to take ownership of their RESPONSE-ABILITY although I do understand that not everyone has that emotional intelligence but a good coach will know how to work around this and still be able to bring someones shortcomings to the light.
Is it morally right to continue to take someones money when they are getting no results? I do think there are circumstances that warrant it and that is only when a client can admit that they simply enjoy training with their trainer and if it wasn’t for their booked session they simply wouldn’t turn up to do anything or bother doing any exercise at all. Something is better than nothing. In all other circumstances. NO.
If you are a trainer either raise your lid or know your role, know when you’re out of your depth, move people on if you know you cant help them – there’s always more people needing your help.
If you are a client and your results are important and you know you’re doing everything your trainer has coached you to do with consistency and persistence
and you’re not getting to where you want to go with a reasonable expectation then do yourself a favour and make the hard call. Follow someone that is continually raising their lid.
Choose the people that hold you to a higher standard, not the ones that make you feel better…
By Chris Rae
Chris has been a trainer since 2006 and has been running Target Life Fitness since 2012.
Chris is a strong believer in functional fitness and holistic health.