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  1. #1
    BRB... Eating a chicken askthetrainer's Avatar
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    Personal Trainer Catch Phrases, Queues & Analogies

    Any of you trainers have any catch phrases that you use during training sessions or consultations? Or things that you've heard other trainers / coaches say that you think are really good for motivating client to trainer harder during sessions, or get emotional and buy training during consultations?

    One of my favorite things to ask prospective male clients is, "Do you want to look good w/ your shirt on or do you want to look good w/ shirt off? Because let's face it, being huge likely means you're not the most cut and being ripped means you're likely to look like you have less muscle in clothes...


    What are Some Analogies, Catch Phrases or Queuss that Work for you or Someone you Know?
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  2. #2
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    • in this workout you will do X, the reason you are doing X is so that you can achieve your goal Y
    • as a beginner, you will get all sorts of little aches and pains and twinges here and there. That is because you have several hundred muscles in your body, you have not been using some of them, they fell asleep and are grumpy when they've woken up. If the pain lasts or restricts movement, we'll send you to a doctor. If it's not worth seeing the doctor about, then harden up and keep going.
    • in the first 4 weeks you will not see any changes, but you will feel more energetic and lively. In the second 4 weeks you may see some small changes, it's the third months where the big changes start happening.
    • good change takes time and money, but the bad change cost time and money too, right?
    • Strength and fitness are built in the gym, size at the dinner table. Diet is key, I can't control what you do the other 165 hours a week, that's up to you.
    • Don't ask me for a meal plan, I'm a PT. Would you ask your dietician to coach you on a barbell squat?
    • in every workout, more than you did before: more weight or more reps or more sets or more speed or for longer
    • in every workout, do a deep knee-bend, pick something heavy up off the floor and put something heavy overhead. If you think that's boring you're not working hard enough, let's up the weights and drop the rest between sets.
    • [for women] women who lift won't bulk up, women who don't lift will bulk up
    • I didn't say you should stop, keep going
    • [for women] women push something the size of a watermelon out of them and don't die, you can certainly manage this piddling little weight
    • [for certain kinds of men] you lift like old people fck, go harder
    • it doesn't matter what you can do, only that you do more than you did yesterday
    • in this workout you did X, this was more than last time, well done, you are getting stronger/fitter
    • to recover from this workout you need to stretch, eat and rest, in that order. I'll help you stretch.
    • well done, keep going
    That's all that comes to mind at the moment.
    Elite coaching is about getting the last 5% out of a person's performance, personal training is about getting the first 50%.

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  3. #3
    BRB... Eating a chicken askthetrainer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    • in this workout you will do X, the reason you are doing X is so that you can achieve your goal Y
    • as a beginner, you will get all sorts of little aches and pains and twinges here and there. That is because you have several hundred muscles in your body, you have not been using some of them, they fell asleep and are grumpy when they've woken up. If the pain lasts or restricts movement, we'll send you to a doctor. If it's not worth seeing the doctor about, then harden up and keep going.
    • in the first 4 weeks you will not see any changes, but you will feel more energetic and lively. In the second 4 weeks you may see some small changes, it's the third months where the big changes start happening.
    • good change takes time and money, but the bad change cost time and money too, right?
    • Strength and fitness are built in the gym, size at the dinner table. Diet is key, I can't control what you do the other 165 hours a week, that's up to you.
    • Don't ask me for a meal plan, I'm a PT. Would you ask your dietician to coach you on a barbell squat?
    • in every workout, more than you did before: more weight or more reps or more sets or more speed or for longer
    • in every workout, do a deep knee-bend, pick something heavy up off the floor and put something heavy overhead. If you think that's boring you're not working hard enough, let's up the weights and drop the rest between sets.
    • [for women] women who lift won't bulk up, women who don't lift will bulk up
    • I didn't say you should stop, keep going
    • [for women] women push something the size of a watermelon out of them and don't die, you can certainly manage this piddling little weight
    • [for certain kinds of men] you lift like old people fck, go harder
    • it doesn't matter what you can do, only that you do more than you did yesterday
    • in this workout you did X, this was more than last time, well done, you are getting stronger/fitter
    • to recover from this workout you need to stretch, eat and rest, in that order. I'll help you stretch.
    • well done, keep going
    That's all that comes to mind at the moment.
    ^^^Great stuff as usual...

    Along the lines of your 2nd post, I heard one on this forum (forget who posted it) which I liked the best..

    The first month of your training program you will probably not see results.
    The 2nd month of your training program you will being to see results.
    The 3rd month of your training program your friends will begin to see results.

    I also like to analogize bread & water when it comes to people who believe in Low carb diets. It's easy for them to understand when you compare how bread (carbs) soaks up the water while (protein) a chicken breast doesn't during the initial phase of low carb diets..

    Our body = Glass of water
    Our Diet low in carbs = Minus the weight of a water soaked piece of bread
    Our Normal Diet = Minus the weight of the chicken leg soaked in water, i.e. the same because it doesn't soak up any water, thus our body weight (glass of water) remains the same.

    You get the drift..

    I usually ask them how much a glass of water would
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  4. #4
    R[̲̅ə̲̅٨̲̅٥̲̅٦̲̅]ution Mr.ILL's Avatar
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    Finish Strong
    Come on last 5 minutes of the day lets go!
    You can not out train a bad nutrition program
    Don't give up on me.
    It's time to set a PR.
    Good job way to hit that PR
    Big improvement from last week.
    You're in a good stride lets keep it up.


    When I train guys that are trying to get bigger and stronger or athletes I say all kinds of crazy stuff.
    Last edited by Mr.ILL; 06-04-2010 at 07:03 AM.
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    LISA: Meh. Maybe you're just getting stronger.
    HOMER: Well, I have been eating more.

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  5. #5
    Registered User soccerpro6's Avatar
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    When doing an exercise for time, "you can do anything for (insert time left)".


    My personal favorite
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  6. #6
    Banned jules_d1's Avatar
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    Dont prove it to me, prove it to yourself. I already knwo you can do this.


    Keep going, the pains temporay, in 5 minutes you'll feel fine.

    Is this going to kill you? No, so keep going..(selective use)
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  7. #7
    O_o \m/ Keltron's Avatar
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    "Glaring at me in between reps won't make it end any sooner"

    I say this to one particular girl I train. But bless her heart, she does complain and whine quite a bit while she's going through the workout but she does it w/100% effort.


    What else..

    Back at my desk after an intense workout, "Now, every time you think of straying from your diet, know that all the hard work and effort you put in the last hour will be for nothing"

    "You're trashing the hell out of your knees!" I tend to use that expression when a client keeps squatting incorrectly.
    I do snatch pulls in the gym so I can do snatch pulls in the bars. And I ALWAYS use a hook grip.


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  8. #8
    R[̲̅ə̲̅٨̲̅٥̲̅٦̲̅]ution Mr.ILL's Avatar
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    I use the famous ronnie quote when upping the weight

    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
    A.C.E Certified Personal Trainer
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    HOMER: [holds Lisa's suitcase] Somebody's traveling light.
    LISA: Meh. Maybe you're just getting stronger.
    HOMER: Well, I have been eating more.

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  9. #9
    Registered User BSCSCS's Avatar
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    Before a new exercise, (one that is particularly diffucult), I always say "Don't worry, you'll love it" with a smirk on my face. They learn to HATE that phrase. When they are finished with a particularly hard exercise or set, I always say "Piece of cake" again with a little smirk...I usually get a FU from that one.
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  10. #10
    Registered User vanfreak's Avatar
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    "Suffer if you want to be beautiful"

    "If you want to be in the happiest place on Earth , go to Disneyland"

    "You just said you can't-let me correct you-you can't right now but you will eventually"

    "Don't thank me...you did it all by yourself.I only gave you the tools and any success you've had is your doing"

    I was teaching on Thursday night an hour and a half class it was all women God love 'em and after class a few of them came up and started asking me questions about weight loss and how they were unhappy with their bodies etc. after I congratulated them on staying for the whole gruelling hour and a half I reminded them they were all fabulous, to stop being so hard on themselves and:
    "you don't need enemies you've got yourselves-now stop whining and get moving!"
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  11. #11
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Not sure how to turn this into a catchphrase, but last night I had a session:

    Client drops the weights after a set. "Fuuuuu.... that was too much for me."
    "Are you injured?"
    "No."
    "Did you do all the reps?"
    "Yes."
    "Then it was not too much for you."
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  12. #12
    Personal Trainer Hopetrainer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    • in this workout you will do X, the reason you are doing X is so that you can achieve your goal Y
    • as a beginner, you will get all sorts of little aches and pains and twinges here and there. That is because you have several hundred muscles in your body, you have not been using some of them, they fell asleep and are grumpy when they've woken up. If the pain lasts or restricts movement, we'll send you to a doctor. If it's not worth seeing the doctor about, then harden up and keep going.
    • in the first 4 weeks you will not see any changes, but you will feel more energetic and lively. In the second 4 weeks you may see some small changes, it's the third months where the big changes start happening.
    • good change takes time and money, but the bad change cost time and money too, right?
    • Strength and fitness are built in the gym, size at the dinner table. Diet is key, I can't control what you do the other 165 hours a week, that's up to you.
    • Don't ask me for a meal plan, I'm a PT. Would you ask your dietician to coach you on a barbell squat?
    • in every workout, more than you did before: more weight or more reps or more sets or more speed or for longer
    • in every workout, do a deep knee-bend, pick something heavy up off the floor and put something heavy overhead. If you think that's boring you're not working hard enough, let's up the weights and drop the rest between sets.
    • [for women] women who lift won't bulk up, women who don't lift will bulk up
    • I didn't say you should stop, keep going
    • [for women] women push something the size of a watermelon out of them and don't die, you can certainly manage this piddling little weight
    • [for certain kinds of men] you lift like old people fck, go harder
    • it doesn't matter what you can do, only that you do more than you did yesterday
    • in this workout you did X, this was more than last time, well done, you are getting stronger/fitter
    • to recover from this workout you need to stretch, eat and rest, in that order. I'll help you stretch.
    • well done, keep going
    That's all that comes to mind at the moment.
    wicked man
    ISSA: Personal Trainer, Specialist in Sports Nutrition.
    BCRPA: Personal trainering, weight training & fitness theory.
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  13. #13
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    What was wicked? It's all true
    Elite coaching is about getting the last 5% out of a person's performance, personal training is about getting the first 50%.

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  14. #14
    **** Son of Asgard **** TheManofSteel's Avatar
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    I find myself using: "Breathe in when you control in (meaning the descending part of a motion), and breathe out & push out" - for pressing stuff... of course you tailor to what their doing... for squats it's always "Breathe in when you control down, and breathe out as you drive up"

    I also use the "Finish Strong" alot (ALOT)

    When someone is struggling or tired...
    "If it was easy EVERYONE would be doing it..."
    B.S. in Health & Exercise Science
    M.S. in Exercise Physiology
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    "There's US & there's THEM; always has been & always will be" - B.F., My Mentor
    "If you're not PASSIONATE about it... it's just another thing" - My Pops

    Guess I'll go for 30k;I ROI 5k+
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  15. #15
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    Here's one I use a lot to answer the old "I can't do that" or "I can't do 10 at that weight". When someone says that to me, I tell them to do them one at a time (i.e. concentrate on getting the first one, then getting the second one, and so on). They usually get all 10 and, if they only got 8, I tell them that they got 8 more than they believed they could do. And, lot of this is about belief, isn't it.
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  16. #16
    Anti-Socialite Ctrainer's Avatar
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    I count down instead of up unless we are repping out..

    I always say that if it isn't uncomfortable then their body isn't changing...


    and I ask everytime how their diet is...so they know it is just as important ...
    "It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others"

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  17. #17
    Registered User nickmanzoni's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ctrainer View Post
    I count down instead of up unless we are repping out..

    I always say that if it isn't uncomfortable then their body isn't changing...


    and I ask everytime how their diet is...so they know it is just as important ...
    Them: "This is hard work".
    Me: "That's why it's called 'workouts' not 'playing out'.

    Them: "I want to do 'x' because 'y' is too hard".
    Me: Well, so far 'x' has gotten you as far as 'x' is going to take you, that's why you hired me... to get you past your plateau".
    I would've lied if I told you this was easy.

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  18. #18
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    "you arent going to get optimum results unless you buy this multi along with this protein powder and id highly advise that you buy (insert random supplement) also".
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  19. #19
    Strength Coach tovlakas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BC02 View Post
    "you arent going to get optimum results unless you buy this multi along with this protein powder and id highly advise that you buy (insert random supplement) also".
    Just lift big and take a multi, bro, you'll get there.
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  20. #20
    Mundis Ex Igne Factus Ex txapn's Avatar
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    "dedication is pesonal NOT private"

    love this one and use it when people are shy about thier lift #'s
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  21. #21
    Eats carbs @ 11pm Simmo0508's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vanfreak View Post
    "Suffer if you want to be beautiful"

    "If you want to be in the happiest place on Earth , go to Disneyland"
    Couldn't hold my tongue any longer here for these ones..

    That first one is a load of crap. You don't have to "suffer" to get a beneficial workout and for a person to achieve a goal. If you use negative words like suffer when conversing with clients, you're shootin yourself in the foot and killing the mood. Clients don't want to suffer, and they sure as hell aren't paying us as trainers so that they can have 60 minutes of suffering.

    The second one, again, load of crap. For most clients, they need exercise to be somewhat fun and stimulating. A lot of them are bored of exercise in general, and that's half the reason they often seek PT'ing. Not everyone has fitness in their blood and has it come naturally, so they don't see exercise as a hobby or a thing that "just gets done". They actually need it to appear appealing.

    Cos i'm sure they'd love to be in Disneyland, and by you saying "oh this isn't meant to be fun like disneyland" etc. etc. you're making it sound like they're in prison for the time being and are doing some sort of "job" in their off-time.

    For some people, exercise IS meant to be fun and make them happy. If you don't match a clients needs and wants correctly, your retention and business will suffer.

    Don't get me wrong, some select people do enjoy the hard-ass approach, but most don't. Especially our older clientele.


    As for the OP, i have a neat little trick i use when working with my boys and when we're doin weights. Instead of counting out loud "1...2...3...4" etc, i shut up, let them work and get them to purely focus on the muscle and the contraction, and i let them know when they're getting close. At that point, it's a verbal cue of something like "3 left... only 2 more... last one is nothing". So the point is, they don't have a huge number stuck in their head that overawes them. When lifting, it's very distracting to count for yourself at the same time as focusing on a contraction. And when lifting, a high number in the back of your head often puts a drain on your energy.

    Hence why i get guys not to consume themselves with counting, and let me take care of that (in the back of MY head and for the logging). People can often lift a lot more, for more reps, and with a lot better intensity, when they aren't counting in the back of THEIR heads, and are just concentrating on lifting continuously.

    Also a neat little trick i use for larger sets, is instead of saying "ok we're gonna go ahead and do 30 bodyweight squats", i'll say "ok we're gonna go ahead and do 5 bodyweight squats 6 times in a row".

    So 1...2...3...4...5...1...2...3...4...5...1...2...3. ..4...5...1...2...3...4...5...1...2...3...4...5

    I've noticed a tendency with people, that when you verbalise a low number, they feel fresher physically and mentally. As in "oh ok, i'm starting at #1 again, this is easy... this is only the first one, this is only the second one" blah blah.

    When people verbalise huge numbers like "ok 44... 45...46", that often psyches people out and takes a tremendous toll on the body and taxes their energy.
    Last edited by Simmo0508; 06-05-2010 at 07:47 PM.
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  22. #22
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    In my experience, some people do seek training for suffering. Must be a Catholic thing, "I had cheesecake last night, must do burpees till I faint today." Crossfit seems to be built on that approach.

    Not my favourite kind of client, though, and more experienced trainers have told me that the kind of person who seeks that kind of training will have other self-destructive issues that are going to hurt both trainee and trainer in the long run. My instinct is that's right.

    I am not all positive stuff when I work with people. There's a bit of "grim resolve" in there as well. For example, the "if you are not injured, and you did all the reps, then it was not too much for you," exchange I mentioned earlier. As I see it, a person has mental limits, and above those are their physical limits. It's part of a trainer's job to bridge that gap - past the mental limits but short of their physical limits, to help the person realise they are stronger and tougher than they thought they were. We're building their confidence at the same time as building their fitness and strength.

    When they seem to be feeling down or shagged between the work, I emphasise how far they've come. I do my best to estimate what they can manage in weight, sets, reps, speed and distance, whatevever - and only add to it gradually. I'm not in favour of going to failure on each set - "blast that fat away!" - because the person goes away remember not the 100 successful reps, but the 10 failed reps.

    This stuff seems obvious to me, but from conversations here and elsewhere it's plain many trainers have a different approach. In a recent article Lyle McDonald talks a bit about this,

    "there are often some subtle motivational and psychological differences between the ***8216;average***8217; obese beginner and the wannabe psycho motivated would-be athlete or bodybuilder [...] most who become personal trainers tend to come from the motivated psycho athlete population. [...] I fear that they often don***8217;t understand the psychology of someone coming from the obese beginner population; they were never there themselves and can***8217;t understand someone who is."

    Concise he ain't, but his point is a good one. A "motivated psycho athlete" will be happy with "this ain't Disneyland," the typical deconditioned beginner will just feel miserable. That's why I said, "you lift like old people fck" is only for certain clients. I've only done it with those planning to enter the military and directing their training towards that; I emphasise to them that they'll get that sort of nonsense in the military, so they'd best get used to it now. With the typical client, I would never speak that way.

    This is to me one of the most difficult aspects of our job, to adjust the approach to each client. Only the most incompetent of us can't individualise a programme for a client, but it's more difficult to individualise the approach you take, your demeanour. It can be hard to change that. If you're naturally easy-going, it can be hard to be a hardarse, if you're naturally a psycho motivated athlete, then...
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  23. #23
    Registered User vanfreak's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Simmo0508 View Post
    Couldn't hold my tongue any longer here for these ones..

    That first one is a load of crap. You don't have to "suffer" to get a beneficial workout and for a person to achieve a goal. If you use negative words like suffer when conversing with clients, you're shootin yourself in the foot and killing the mood. Clients don't want to suffer, and they sure as hell aren't paying us as trainers so that they can have 60 minutes of suffering.

    The second one, again, load of crap. For most clients, they need exercise to be somewhat fun and stimulating. A lot of them are bored of exercise in general, and that's half the reason they often seek PT'ing. Not everyone has fitness in their blood and has it come naturally, so they don't see exercise as a hobby or a thing that "just gets done". They actually need it to appear appealing.

    Cos i'm sure they'd love to be in Disneyland, and by you saying "oh this isn't meant to be fun like disneyland" etc. etc. you're making it sound like they're in prison for the time being and are doing some sort of "job" in their off-time.

    For some people, exercise IS meant to be fun and make them happy. If you don't match a clients needs and wants correctly, your retention and business will suffer.

    Don't get me wrong, some select people do enjoy the hard-ass approach, but most don't. Especially our older clientele.


    As for the OP, i have a neat little trick i use when working with my boys and when we're doin weights. Instead of counting out loud "1...2...3...4" etc, i shut up, let them work and get them to purely focus on the muscle and the contraction, and i let them know when they're getting close. At that point, it's a verbal cue of something like "3 left... only 2 more... last one is nothing". So the point is, they don't have a huge number stuck in their head that overawes them. When lifting, it's very distracting to count for yourself at the same time as focusing on a contraction. And when lifting, a high number in the back of your head often puts a drain on your energy.

    Hence why i get guys not to consume themselves with counting, and let me take care of that (in the back of MY head and for the logging). People can often lift a lot more, for more reps, and with a lot better intensity, when they aren't counting in the back of THEIR heads, and are just concentrating on lifting continuously.

    Also a neat little trick i use for larger sets, is instead of saying "ok we're gonna go ahead and do 30 bodyweight squats", i'll say "ok we're gonna go ahead and do 5 bodyweight squats 6 times in a row".

    So 1...2...3...4...5...1...2...3...4...5...1...2...3. ..4...5...1...2...3...4...5...1...2...3...4...5

    I've noticed a tendency with people, that when you verbalise a low number, they feel fresher physically and mentally. As in "oh ok, i'm starting at #1 again, this is easy... this is only the first one, this is only the second one" blah blah.

    When people verbalise huge numbers like "ok 44... 45...46", that often psyches people out and takes a tremendous toll on the body and taxes their energy.
    Sounds like someone is having a sense of humour failure-do you honestly think for one second I would actually mean that in a 'do what I say' mode....?Whoa lighten up-everybody in my group fitness class laughed their asses off.
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  24. #24
    [#Team_MTL] extremenergy3's Avatar
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    DO IT FOR DADDY!

    just kidding. I use "finish strong", "good job", "good form", "keep it up", "killing it!", "you own this exercise!", and other stuff I can't think of right now lol
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  25. #25
    R[̲̅ə̲̅٨̲̅٥̲̅٦̲̅]ution Mr.ILL's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by extremenergy3 View Post
    DO IT FOR DADDY!
    lol repped
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  26. #26
    Strength Coach tovlakas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vanfreak View Post
    Sounds like someone is having a sense of humour failure-do you honestly think for one second I would actually mean that in a 'do what I say' mode....?Whoa lighten up-everybody in my group fitness class laughed their asses off.
    no offense, but you can't expect him to know whether you're being serious or not... first of all it's online (no tone of voice for cues) and secondly he doesn't know you or the back story. There's lot's of people on these forums who do stuff like that all the time, so it's reasonable for him to take you at your word. Particularly when you don't put "j/k" or a smiley face afterwards.
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  27. #27
    Eats carbs @ 11pm Simmo0508's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tovlakas View Post
    no offense, but you can't expect him to know whether you're being serious or not... first of all it's online (no tone of voice for cues) and secondly he doesn't know you or the back story. There's lot's of people on these forums who do stuff like that all the time, so it's reasonable for him to take you at your word. Particularly when you don't put "j/k" or a smiley face afterwards.
    This.

    I don't know who that guy is or his personality. Most of us regulars on here have a pretty good idea by now what kind of people we're dealing with. Ya can't expect us to know what perspective a newbie is coming from.

    Tone of voice and playfulness makes all the difference. I wasn't attacking, but just on face value alone, those words in it's own right aren't exactly the best ones to use when dealing with people who half the time don't even necessarily wanna be exercising in the first place. Again, some people can dig it, others won't.
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  28. #28
    Registered User vanfreak's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Simmo0508 View Post
    This.

    I don't know who that guy is or his personality. Most of us regulars on here have a pretty good idea by now what kind of people we're dealing with. Ya can't expect us to know what perspective a newbie is coming from.

    Tone of voice and playfulness makes all the difference. I wasn't attacking, but just on face value alone, those words in it's own right aren't exactly the best ones to use when dealing with people who half the time don't even necessarily wanna be exercising in the first place. Again, some people can dig it, others won't.
    Just like some people can dig how you refer to someone who is physically challenged?

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=124577771

    So 'those words in their own right aren't exactly the best ones to use when dealing with people' but calling someone 'retarded' and using photos of them in such an ugly demeaning manner is?
    Young man before you attempt to lecture me on what you think is appropriate I'd take a look in the mirror...
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  29. #29
    Eats carbs @ 11pm Simmo0508's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vanfreak View Post
    Just like some people can dig how you refer to someone who is physically challenged?

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=124577771

    So 'those words in their own right aren't exactly the best ones to use when dealing with people' but calling someone 'retarded' and using photos of them in such an ugly demeaning manner is?
    Young man before you attempt to lecture me on what you think is appropriate I'd take a look in the mirror...
    Strong unaware lol

    Don't speak unless you know what you're referring to bro.

    And i wasn't even attacking you, i was arguing a point within the thread. Take your e-fight somewhere else. I don't have the time for you.
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  30. #30
    Registered User Physiologist's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vanfreak View Post
    Just like some people can dig how you refer to someone who is physically challenged?

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=124577771

    So 'those words in their own right aren't exactly the best ones to use when dealing with people' but calling someone 'retarded' and using photos of them in such an ugly demeaning manner is?
    Young man before you attempt to lecture me on what you think is appropriate I'd take a look in the mirror...
    lol
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