As a constant student of exercise science and the fitness industry, I read articles, insights and musings of the aforementioned near daily. I am very proud of my programming and take extra care to pre-program all routines, months ahead of time. If new research or well respected opinion present an idea that differs from my own, I scrutinize it, and if found credible, take no time in adjusting my own thoughts and programming. I'm proud of my coaching and also very proud of my clients. That being said, I think the coach/client relationship is one that should be very structured, with expectations made clear from the beginning of the journey.
I was considering the respect and admiration I have for my own clients, and decided to list my own opinions, derived from my experience of what makes a good client. The following list contains the attitudes and points I have always appreciated most as a coach, and those that foster the best performance and results.
"A good client..."
1.) Respects the coach. Coaching doesn't pay much- trust me! However, coaching is a very rewarding job where one can benefit others through (continuing) education, passion, and example. Especially when you're younger than many of your clients, it's always appreciated when a client respects the coaches opinion enough not only to ask questions, but to carry out the answer with strict adherence. Likewise, a good client will willingly adjust their form, technique, and/or intensity based on the coaches recommendations even if the adjustment wasn't requested.
2.) Has integrity. Client integrity comes in many forms, and it's always/100%/without a doubt obvious when it's not there. If a client skips reps, a coach knows- Everybody knows. Also, and most importantly, a clients integrity in terms of their goals will always be obvious. This leads me to the next point.
3.) Does their homework! While I hate fitness cliches, the widely used quote, "You can't out train a poor diet" is fact. If an individual is busting their butt in the gym without making noticeable strides towards their goals, you can guarantee the problem lies in the kitchen. If you're serious about your goal and want it bad enough, you will reach it. Fact.
4.) Trusts the programming. First off, if your coach has no true programming, then find another one. However, if your coach takes the time to utilize his or her education to program your workouts, you should trust them! I'm not saying you can't ask questions of your coach concerning the program and in fact would recommend it... I'm simply saying a good client never questions the coaches programming behind his back.
5.) Is proud! If you are following numbers 1-4, you are not only a good client, but one that is getting results and turning heads. So, if you are enjoying your gym and your results, get others involved! This isn's (just) a way to help your gym pay it's bills, but also a huge benefit to you as a client and athlete. Anyone who has undertaken a goal alone knows how hard it is to stay on track. If you are one of the lucky ones and are surrounded by a friendly support group, you know its benefits! Group training thrives on excitement and enthusiasm. A group of 15 will always bring more intensity than a group of 2. If you love your gym, share the love!