Four NASM-CPTs, all veterans, share nine learned-in-the-service lessons that will help clients excel.
Libby Westphal doesn’t do “easy.” It’s a setting the 47-year-old Air Force vet has simply never possessed.
“Easy” isn’t enlisting right out of high school as a means of escaping a small northern Virginia town. “Easy” isn’t issuing missile codes as a U.S. Air Force intel sergeant. And “easy” certainly isn’t what happens when clients enter 110% Fit, Libby’s new fitness studio in Leesburg, Va.
“Leave ‘easy’ on the other side of the door—that’s what I tell people,” says Westphal, NASM-CPT. “You can do easy on your own. You don’t need to come here for easy. When people come to my studio and I train them, I assume they want to improve, and the only way to do that is through challenge. Challenge is something I truly understand and respect. Challenge isn’t easy, but, boy, challenge is good.”
Westphal readily admits that this isn’t a pitch most people are accustomed to hearing. “Athletes get it,” she says; “people in the military clearly do too. But for most of the population, it’s a bit intense. So I don’t bark it,” she laughs, “but I don’t dilute it either. Because success is always right on the other side of the struggle. You have to struggle to grow.”
It’s a nuanced message—one those in the military understand better than most, because they have had to submit to a struggle; they had no other choice. Off the battlefield or even on the base, however, people have myriad choices. “Which is why my job in my current setting is to try to get people to set new standards for themselves,” says Westphal, “big and small.” She provides this quick example:
“If I have a group session, and I ask the women to pick up a pair of dumbbells, they will all, without exception, pick up the 5-pounders,” she says. “It’s a reflex—they do it because they’ve always done it. So I’ll say: ‘Let’s all pick up a weight that we’ve never touched before.’ I let them go down if they need to as the session progresses, but I push them—gently—right out of their comfort zone, right from the start. Because here, we grow.”
And here, three more trainers share eight additional learned-in-the-service lessons you can use to help clients—and your businesses—grow….Read the entire article, including three more veteran stories, at NASM’s The Training Edge.