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Old 11-20-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
Mark Griffith
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Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

Here is a challenge I am running into as a newer trainer with a growing clientel...

Some clients get really mad when they cannot complete a round without resting alot and whining. They may even DNF a wod.

Other clients get upset with themselves, and if a female, start to get teary-eyed. "It's too hard!"

Now I am not a hand holder or a hard guy, and I am thinking I need to do something other than encourage with "no quitting!" or "you can do it - push!"

How do you handle these situations generally?
Thx!
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
Jake Di Vita
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

Find out what matters to them.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:19 PM   #3
Becca Borawski
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

Is it in fact "too hard" for them? I think scaling for new clientele is really important, for both you and them. It's safer for them, for one, and also helps them have a sense of success and accomplishment that they did it, even if it' scaled. This makes them like themselves (and your school!) more than a DNF.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

This is actually good news. If they weren't pushing hard or didn't care, they wouldn't get frustrated.

You might start by telling them that, and letting them know that it's okay and part of the process...as long as they keep going anyway.

Katherine

On edit: What Becca said is true, too. Make sure what you're asking is within their ability.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:55 PM   #5
Jared Ashley
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
This is actually good news. If they weren't pushing hard or didn't care, they wouldn't get frustrated.

You might start by telling them that, and letting them know that it's okay and part of the process...as long as they keep going anyway.

Katherine

On edit: What Becca said is true, too. Make sure what you're asking is within their ability.
I think I'm with katherine to a point... I've had a few clients where what I consider whining just seemed to be their way of getting through the stress. Some people grunt and scream, others yell profanities, and some whine alot. As long as they're pushing hard it's cool.

For people who rest and whine excessively I think it's just a sign that they don't actually want to be there. people who wanted to be there would say things like "this sucks!" or "you're killing me" or "where do you come up with this stuff?", and then take a few breaths and get back to it and they would ALWAYS finish (unless I mis-judged and gave them a workout truly above their capacity, which happened only rarely).

people who didn't want to be there would say things like "this is too hard" or "can't I do something else" or "why do I have to do these stupid <insert movement here> anyway". Those people would rest as much as possible, requiring constant encouragement, sometimes every single rep. they'd whine non-stop for the entire session, skip a lot of sessions, DNF a lot of workouts, and then question my methods when they didn't lose weight after a month (when they had only worked out 3 times that month). Those people tended to either disappear or find another trainer fairly quickly... good riddance.

the tricky part was in the beginning, when people would rest a lot because they hadn't figured out "intensity" yet. Some people know intensity from day 1, others require time to figure it out. after a few weeks though it was usually pretty clear who didnt' want to be there. and there's not much I could do (or you can do) about that.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:09 PM   #6
Mark Griffith
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

Thanks for the good stuff so far...

BTW, I think I scale pretty well. Times are comparable with more accomplished athletes at more weight etc.
I try to use brandX as a guide. For myself as well.
You can look at some of the posts on my site for examples...
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
John McPherson
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

Always scale the client accordingly, but at the beginning of a client's adventure into Crossfit, make it easily manageable, they shouldn't be crying during the WOD on the first day or two. They will gain confidence from finishing the WODs and its safer especially with new and complex movments. Afterward talk with them about using heavier weights the next time. They will fly through some of the WOD's because they are only using 5 pounds, but within a short period of time they will realize it's too easy for themselves and want the push it a little harder. Or as Jared said they won't be with you long nor will they 'want it.' Make them see the goal to get stronger and to better themselves one step at a time.

Either make them or you keep accurate records of their weights/mods and encourage them to make gains every visit. IE.. If they did 5x5 back squats with 100lbs this week, next week they have to do 105lbs. Keep them going up and up. Your want to make them fit probably exceeds what they think is possible at this moment, once they see some gains the problem typically takes care of itself. Just don't let them ever settle.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
Michael Pilhofer
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca Borawski View Post
Is it in fact "too hard" for them? I think scaling for new clientele is really important, for both you and them. It's safer for them, for one, and also helps them have a sense of success and accomplishment that they did it, even if it' scaled. This makes them like themselves (and your school!) more than a DNF.
I am with Becca on this. I feel it is very important, especially in the beginning, and of course dependent on the individual new athlete, that the "Finish Line" can been seen from the start. Scaling is not a bad thing. It doesn't have to be public. Many times I will simply go to a specific athlete and say, lets do 3 rounds...lets do only 20x reps...use this weight...etc. Nobody else knows until the end and everyone is working to their ability and is being challenged appropriately.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
Mark Griffith
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

I do beleive that scalling is being done correctly.
My broader concern is how the behavior affects the rest of the class.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Clients with extreme moods in the WOD

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Originally Posted by Mark Griffith View Post
I do beleive that scalling is being done correctly.
My broader concern is how the behavior affects the rest of the class.
If the rest of the class is working hard enough, it doesn't. In mid-WOD, I don't think I'd notice anything short of the person next to me bursting into flames. Even if people do notice, non-whiners generally don't have much patience with whiners.

Over the long term, yeah, it could be a problem, but as Jared said the nature of serious whiners is that they don't want to be there and will take themselves out of the picture.

Katherine
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