You Don’t Need a Barbell

This is the first in, potentially, a series of blogs I plan to write. My goal is simple: I want you to stretch your brain a bit as I put forth some ideas that challenge traditional thinking when it comes to working in the health and fitness space.

Might as well start by painting the largest target on my back as possible, by denigrating the most widely used tool in microgyms around the world: the barbell.

Before you come at me with pitchforks, I think I should more clearly define my audience: if your client competes in a barbell-focused sport (ex: weightlifting, powerlifting, functional fitness racing, etc), yes – they need to use a barbell. To say otherwise would be like telling a baseball pitcher that he doesn’t need a baseball.

Other than that, I’m confident in saying this is for everyone else. Dare I say, the 99%?!

I can hear it now:

“But deadlifts!

“But squats!”

“But snatches”

“But thrusters”

Ok, nobody is saying that last one.

“But hypertrophy”

“But strength”

“But 1-rep maxes”

Here’s the thing: none of your clients asked for any of these things when they first sat down with your for their initial consultation. Remember the audience. Are you a sport coach or a health and fitness coach? There is a difference.

I’ve been a coach, gym owner, and mentor to coaches and gym owners long enough to say with certainty that the things above are not what people are asking for. They *might* say it, but deep down you and I both know the truth – that’s not why they showed up. It’s not what they truly want. That’s surface stuff. It’s the type of thing people say to fitness coaches because they think it’s what we want to hear. It’s what they see in all the fancy magazines and the fitness influencers on social media. Or, perhaps they just don’t know what else to say.

And this is where you job starts.

[At Two-Brain Coaching, this is the ‘LEARN’ phase of your relationship with your client. It’s an acronym for: Listen, Empathize, Ask questions, Reflect, and Next Steps.]

If you dig deep enough, allow enough time (NOT fifteen minutes) to flesh things out by asking great questions, you might get down to why they are really there.

And no, it’s not to lose body fat either. But that’s a post for another day.

After that conversation, and maybe lots more time in the trenches as a coach, you’ll realize that you don’t need a barbell any more than your client does.

“But resistance.

Now we’re onto something. But you don’t need a barbell for that. In fact, I should probably admit right now that “barbell” is really a placeholder for: ‘any external load commonly found in a microgym.’ But that headline isn’t click-worth, is it?

To resistance, I say ‘YES…” And then I’ll volley a ‘but’ back to you: “But COVID.”

Now what do you do? You only have a finite amount of equipment to loan out. We learned this over the past fifteen months. Some are still dealing with it.

You don’t need a barbell, you want one.

Your clients don’t need a barbell, and they certainly didn’t ask for one.

And remember, it’s not about you, coach. It’s about your client.

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