F.I.T. Blog

The COVID-19 vaccine response and Personal Training at FIT: More alike than we think

Social interaction, due to COVID-19, has likely been changed forever. Greeting someone has become this awkward interaction trying to figure out if you bump elbows, fist bump or approach them and they take a step back.

But, with multiple viable COVID-19 vaccines now available, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. We can once again envision a culture where the social norms of high fiving, handshaking and hugging are not just accepted, but welcomed!

And as we are rolling more and more doses of the vaccine out in Wisconsin, the conversation regarding which vaccine was received and what the response was brings to light two things for me:

  1. We have educated guesses right now but in reality have very little certainty who is going to react to the vaccine and to what extent
  2. The highly individualized response to the vaccine reminds me exactly why we approach training the way we do.

Let me explain.

Imagine a scenario where twin adult brothers live in the same apartment and go to get vaccinated. They both receive the same vaccine. We can’t assume they do EVERYTHING together but they are similar in many ways.

Despite all these shared circumstances, one brother has a reaction and feels sick for a full 24 hours: fever, shaking, nauseous.

The other, no reaction whatsoever.

How do we explain it?

Simple answer, we don’t!

The human body is so incredibly complex that we will likely never completely understand how everything works and functions together.

Just look at other well established vaccines for the flu. Some people have a massive response to it while others experience nothing.

So to make the assumption that two people who share many commonalities, function the same and need the same thing is absurd.

This brings me to the approach we take with training at FIT. There are some key actions we take that demonstrate our recognition of the individual as an individual!

  1. The first thing we want a new person coming to our gym to go through is something we call a Success Session. It’s a chance for them to chat with us about their past (injuries, health and activities they enjoy), their future (what goals do they have that are unique to only them), and their present (how they move RIGHT now via a movement eval)From day one, we make sure to learn as much as we can about the person seated across from us while helping them understand more about who they are and why training is an important part of their path to lifelong health AND forward progress.
  2. Every athlete, in all of our training offerings, has a program that is theirs and theirs alone. Thus it allows them to make notes, record how many reps they did, the weight or resistance they used and how many sets they completed.For us as coaches, that sets up opportunities for conversations about how to improve each and every training session. So, when our athlete comes in feeling like a superhero, we know how to adjust properly. And, when they feel like they are dragging a 100 lb weight strapped to their back, we can help them train safely through modifications and get to the next day feeling better, not worse.
  3. We reach out regularly to our athletes in a personalized manner. Some people like positive reinforcement, some like straight smack talk and some like something in between.This allows us to learn more about them and create a true relationship. When that kind of trust can be developed, then we have the chance to impact every athlete we train in a significant way: physically, mentally and emotionally.

The training process is something that is human in nature, meaning we have no real way of knowing how any person is going to respond to the stimulus we throw at them.

So, instead of assuming and trying to get everyone to fit a mold we create; we listen, educate and adapt so every athlete has an experience that is truly the best FIT for them!

 

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