Personal Fitness Professional Summer 2022

Page 6


By Dr. Adrienne Ione

Finding the right resources

Box Breathing

As fitness trainers, finding the right resources and tools to effectively run your business can be challenging. This month’s issue of PFP has you covered, with articles on lead nurturing, client retention, motivation and assessment. Lead nurturing is simply developing and maintaining relationships with clients throughout their time with you. It begins when they’re prospects, and continues for many years after they become clients. It’s important to remember that lead nurturing is the first step toward client retention. Other factors include motivation and inspiration. Sam Taggart says, “Motivation is a push factor; it’s an outside force that is compelling you to take action, even if you don’t want to.” Many of our clients need that “push” that we provide during their training sessions. Taggert goes on to explain, “Inspiration, on the other hand, is more of a pull or drive force that comes from within.” The bottom line is, if we can motivate and inspire our clients, they will be with us for the long haul. Trust and communication between trainer and client are central to setting achieving goals and fulfilling the vision. A few minutes at a time, a few days each week, our clients communicate their very lives to you, creating a bond of friendship and trust. Your client/trainer relationships are investments you make in your business. It’s also important to “keep score” ... What I mean by that is to assess where your clients are when they begin, and measure their progress along the way. Paul Chek likes to say, “If you’re not assessing then you’re guessing!” Whether the goal is weight loss, improving range of motion, pain relief or something else, it’s important to know where you are, and where you want to go. The training industry has a notoriously low retention rate, and that’s because too many trainers aren’t listening to their clients. So, how can you create and sustain a long-term trainer/client relationship in an industry that has only a 31% retention average longer than five years? You create a special world just for them. We live in a day and age where many people feel lack of control over most areas of their time and life, where responsibilities and commitments can sometimes be overwhelming. The world you create for them on their terms will offer an environment that is enriching and nurturing to them. The world you create for each client will be a little bit different. Listen for their preferences and create that special world, just for them.

We can look to many sources to help us understand the complexities of the breath. We can try and understand a Hebrew word “neshama” — the act of breathing. Perhaps we want to turn to Western medicine and physiological explanations of the impact of diaphragmatic breathing in exciting the parasympathetic nervous system. Or, we can pull from yogic science and explore Sama Vritti Pranayama, a Sanskrit term that roughly translates to equal flow or equal wave of controlled or bridled energy. Put differently, it’s a practice of taming and observing of the wild monkey within. This wild monkey is named “Breath.” I invite you to make friends with your wild monkey named Breath. Notice where in your body you feel your breath. With one finger, can you point to where in your body you feel your inhale begin? With another finger, can you identify where your exhale begins? What is going on in your body between your inhale and exhale? Now, with your focus on your breath, about shaping your breath by practicing box breathing or, in Sanskrit: Sama Vritti Pranayama. This four-phase practice is not for everyone. For example, pregnant women and people with high blood pressure may want to avoid holding the breath. During all four phases, there should be no strain on any respiratory organs for members of either of these populations. For people dealing with trauma the diaphragm may feel tight and some report feeling uneasy during this practice. Trust your body. You know your body better than anyone. Do only what feels comfortable. Where you are right in this moment is the perfect place to practice this. You have everything you need. 1. Breathe in through your nose and count to four. Notice your breath in your body. 2. Allow your breath to suspend for a count of four. Observe any bodily sensations. 3. Exhale over the course of a count of four. Observe. 4. Pause for a count of four. Repeat steps one through four.

Greg Justice is a best-selling author, speaker and fitness entrepreneur and was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2017. He opened AYC Health & Fitness, Kansas City’s Original Personal Training Center in May 1986. He is the CEO of the National Corporate Fitness Institute, and Scriptor Publishing Group. Greg holds a master’s degree in HPER (exercise science) from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky.