Rebell Spotlight

MADISON LUTGEN 

 

Madison was the original Rebell!! She was the one who actually helped me come up with the name. I met Madison two years ago online and had offered to help her with her training, we met on a very snowy day in a beat down gym. This was a half way point from where we both lived, we knew nothing about each other and just trusted that we would meet and train. This would only be the beginning of an amazing friendship.

 

We spent a good two and a half to three hours at the gym going over warm ups, mobility, regressions and progressions, understanding the importance of proper training, and so much more. I can specifically recall how nervous she was with a barbell squat, after a few modifications she was confidently squatting. Since then we meet about every four months or so to go over techniques, new exercises, and to hang out. Madison has been such a good friend to me since, and it’s been an amazing experience watching her progress from a shy quite girl to the proud confident woman she is today. Here is her story about her transformation!

 

Your Background- I wasn’t that much of an active child growing up, I didn’t enjoy sports (as an adult, that hasn’t changed one bit) or being active. I didn’t spark an interest into training until I took an aerobics level 2 class in high school, I occasionally worked out but nothing serious. Then years later, I got in touch with Will and my passion for an active lifestyle and fitness really took off my junior year of college. I found powerlifting and made a comfortable transition from the machine side of the gym to the free weight side all while gaining knowledge in natural movements that Will coached me in. Now, almost two years later, I’m lifting a minimum of 4 days a week and taking a variety of group fitness classes ranging from spin to CrossFit, a venture I wouldn’t be able to do without gaining a background in fitness.

 

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“I spent a good amount of time hiking on both trips to Colorado, no slips, trips, or breaks needed. My time in the gym immensely helped my life outside of the gym!”

Thoughts about strength training before & after- I was terrified of the free weight side before training with Will. I knew sooooo little about building muscle and nutrition and how what you do inside the gym should be able to benefit you outside the gym. I worked out but never mindfully. Once I started with Will, I learned how to track my progress by taking notes and writing down my lifts, as well as seeing improvements outside the gym (carrying more weight at work and increased stamina).

 

Now, I’m incredibly comfortable with free weights and challenging myself to push heavier weights and testing my boundaries. Will encourages me to try new movements and that nobody is a master at anything their first time. He’s wonderful to work with as he’s patient and understanding (My life is usually flooding with school and work, and when I told him I shifted from a 5-day spilt to a 4-day split, he was supportive and understood where I was coming from.) The biggest take away from training with Will is my new-found confidence to branch out and try new things. Now I’m excited to try new workouts and go outside of my comfort zone, if you would have told me I’d be doing CrossFit three years ago I would’ve said you were crazy.

Challenging barriers you overcame- The biggest barrier I had to overcome while training was to let go of the awkwardness of trying something new. I used to be scared doing something new and I’d be anxious if somebody saw me do something that I wasn’t a pro at. Now I love coming out and saying I’ve never done something before and I’m eager to learn from people and ask for tips. It’s been a life changing experience, learning to leave my ego at the door and be open to learning new things.

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“One of the first times I started to notice the muscle I’ve gained in my tricep. Incredibly proud as my arms are the most difficult part to gain muscle of me”.

Greatest achievement- My greatest achievement has been my change to an active lifestyle. For a majority of my life, I hated working out and didn’t see the point to eating well. I was just over 20 when I finally had an epiphany that we only get one body and we should treat it like that. Living life by taking drugs and feeing crappy is not a life I want to live. Training with Will exposed me to a life of balance and a love for training not only because it’s fun but because it’s what my body needs. Living an active life and putting thought into my nutrition is beneficial now and in the future. I’m excited to see what my future holds from the work I put in today. That by far, has been my greatest achievement since training with Will (pulling a 225 deadlift was pretty sick too).

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“Core transformation between my first cycle of bulking and cutting!”

Changes your family/friends noticed- The biggest change my friends and family have noticed is my attitude. Prior to getting into lifting and nutrition, I wasn’t a positive person and had a negative outlook on many aspects of life. I get told often that my positivity and excitement is contagious and I seem more excited about life than I was ever before.

 

What do you tell people about our training- I’m constantly referring and talking about Will to friends, coworkers and people at my gym. My favorite thing about him is that he doesn’t bullshit you. If you’re training without reason, he’ll put you in your place because he cares about you and your progress. Will was quick to check me when he found out I was overtraining and I couldn’t thank him enough for that- rest days are crucial!

 

What do you enjoy about working together- The best part about working with Will is that it isn’t only a coach/client relationship, we’ve become great friends over the course of nearly 2 years together. He isn’t the type of coach that is so focused on fitness that he negates every other aspect of your life, Will’s congratulated me on promotions, classes and tells me how derpy my dog is (who doesn’t love that?). He builds a personal connection with you that makes training and asking for help/advice so natural and easy, it’s one of my favorite things about him!

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Me and Shelby- “I LOVE HER!”

3 benefits you’ve noticed

  1. I’ve gained an immense amount of knowledge about training and fitness. Knowing proper form and how movements should be done as well as why we do them has been incredibly beneficial for me. The strength I’ve gained inside the gym has benefited my ability to do my job, I can carry more boxes and more tubs of ice than I could prior to training. Being at work and knowing how to lift with my legs instead of my back is something I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t worked with Will.

 

  1. People frequently ask me about my journey and how I stay dedicated and consistent with working out, and I always tell them it’s Will and the fact that I truly love training. Will makes training fun for me, switching up movements and incorporating new movements fuels my love for training.

 

  1. Additionally, when Will asks about my goals, we plan out steps to reach them, and when I accomplish my goals it’s fulfilling and rewarding. Through training with Will, I’ve learned so much about goal-setting and taking the necessary steps to achieve my goals. Also, figuring out my goals and what I want has been a refreshing and humbling take away from Will. Assessing my life and identifying what I want, inside the gym and outside, whether it’s hitting a 225 back squat or buying a new car, Will has granted me with the skills necessary to properly goal set and plan.

 

What makes the difference- What separates Will from other trainers and fitness plans is that you gain experience and strength within the gym that benefits you outside of the gym. So many fitness plans and trainers promoting all these weird fads and movements that you wouldn’t ever be doing if a machine wasn’t invented to do so, and it’s counteractive to go hard in the gym to these programs and have no benefit to your daily life. Training is a passion and hobby of mine, but it isn’t my whole life and Will accepts that and understands. The work Will has me do is beneficial outside of the gym, it makes kicking my ass in the gym easy cause I know I’m not just training for the gym, I’m training for my life- to make moving boxes at work easier, randomly doing crossfit with coworkers fun and chasing my dog around easy and not a daunting, difficult task. 

 

Additional words- There’s no denying that Will has completely changed my life. I have no idea where I’d be if I didn’t meet up with him during a winter storm at a small snap fitness. He’s a truly fantastic trainer and friend, I trust him and I know he would never misguide me or not have my best intention at heart.

 

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Recent- “It’s small, but when I saw this picture I loved how I looked- happy, healthy, and strong. Being able to look at a photo of yourself without picking it apart is a wonderful feeling! Strength gains and mental gains.”

Madison is the original Rebell, the amount of hard work that she has put forth towards her goals has been admirable. Her sense of humor fills the room with laughter and her courageous efforts to break the stereotypes of women is contagious. Madison is one of a kind, she excels in crushing PR’s and boy’s insecurities. She is a great friend and hard working woman; I’m honored to know such an amazing person!

 

 

 

The Curse of Knowledge

 

Beware of the curse of knowledge that haunts new and experienced coaches. Though this isn’t as severe as the Avada Kedavra curse in Harry Potter, it can have some negative consequences. How is being smart a bad thing? How can knowing a lot about something you’re very passionate about hurt business? Allow me to explain this to you from a firsthand experience with the dark lord himself (I’m not done referencing Harry Potter, so hang in there).

 

As new coaches we are so excited to share with the world how smart we are and how hard we have worked to learn these skills. We learn fun super science terms, muscles, exercises, corrections, the list goes on and on. Once we get our first client or group, we get into a routine of wanting to “WOW” these people with our new learned skills. Though this is a proud moment for us as coaches to have earned whatever education it is that we are teaching, we must pump the brakes before we start to lose people.

 

A prime example of the curse of knowledge is over coaching. I’m as guilty as Harry when he used magic outside of school, for being one to have over coached a client. Over coaching a client can be something we may not be aware of, but might be doing. A fine example of over coaching a client is giving them too much to think about when learning a new exercise. So remember how I said being super smart can be bad thing, here is how.

 

We know and understand how an exercise should look like and be instructed. We sometimes get so caught up in how to get a perfect squat or hinge, we end up giving the client far too many cues and end up confusing them. This not only frustrates you as a coach, but frustrates the client and ends up making them feel insecure about learning. So rather than trying to use every single cue you have so they can have a “perfect” squat, fix one thing at a time. This can range from set to set or even week to week or having them do a different variation of the exercise.

Clients do not have the body awareness that we do, they did not spend hours and hours learning what we know. Give them credit, encourage their progress to learning, and make it fun. Don’t be a Dolores Umbridge when you are coaching a client and expect them to have perfect technique and not make it fun. Instead be more like professor McGonagall, someone who expects hard work, but knows that they do not need to master the craft from the very start.

 

The curse of knowledge continues when you are not diverse with your coaching. New clients may find it challenging or difficult to move in new patterns that they aren’t use to, but there is a difference between not knowing how to do an exercise and being completely lost. When a client has no understanding of what you are asking them to do, then you are over coaching or not using the right cues. Not everyone is going to pick up on the same cue you use for each exercise. As coach you are a teacher of movement, as a teacher you need to understand that there are many ways people learn.

 

Teaching the squat may vary from telling someone how to squat, to showing them how to squat, or actually getting them into a position (if given permission) of a squat. This is your auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Be able to adapt your cueing from each of these learning types, this does take time when learning your craft. I advise taking your time watching other coaches coach, this will help with picking up on different ways they teach exercises you use.

 

Watching or learning from other coaches is completely underrated as a new coach or a coach with experience. Continuing to learn is what makes someone successful in any field. Once you get into a mindset of “Oh now I have this certification or this college degree, I am done with learning for good” you have just set yourself up for failure. One thing that I have taken away from every professional I have met is that they all continue to learn. Learn how to coach diversely and be like the bag that Hermione used the Extension Charm on (it’s a bag full of a bunch of stuff, like SO MUCH STUFF) to coach.

 

The curse of knowledge shows up when you try to use terminology used amongst other fitness professionals with your clients. For example, if I approach Ron on his squat and tell him “Ron that was a great squat, but during the eccentric phase of the lift you had some valgus knee going on and also some lumbar flexion, on your next set I want you to focus on externally rotating as you are coming up while maintaining an erect spine”. Terms like this should be used amongst those who know these terms, you know, like other fitness professionals, not clients. Instead say something more of the line of “Ron, that was a good squat, but I want to make it a little bit better. On your next set let’s think about turning your knees out as you are coming up and keeping the chest up to the ceiling.”

 

Talking with large terminology can be a surefire way of losing a client’s interest. Showing them that you know each muscle group and what muscle is causing what action with every exercise will be redundant. As a coach it is good to know these things, and occasionally sharing this information when it is necessary or when they ask you. Most times clients don’t even care, they just want to feel better or look better. Once you start using terms they do not know, they will be disengaged and feel inferior because they don’t know what you are saying. Avoid using terms that your clients won’t know, but from time to time sneak it in as a conversation starter for something.

 

Some clients may actually find the terminology interesting and would like to know exactly what muscle is doing what and why they are doing an exercise, in that case share with them your knowledge. 90% of the time when you work with clients, it won’t be about using cool terms you know or your understanding of the body, it’ll be about how their day has been, how their family is doing, what they are having for supper, etc. Your clients will always come first, do not talk down to them with your knowledge of your practice, instead learn about their life and their interests and talk about that. They are the reason we are here, share with them when necessary and educate properly.

 

In summary, it is great to be smart, but it can come at a cost if we do not know how to properly use this knowledge we have. Don’t over coach a client, not everyone is going to learn the same way, and client’s do not care how many cool words you know. Do not demand perfection, always continue to learn, and always listen rather than “WOW” a client with your cool terms. As you continue to coach and learn more with time, remember that too much information may come with a cost.