Lewis Franz from Enterprise Fitness, is a health and fitness professional with 7 years experience as a personal trainer, attaining certifications in 3 and 4 in fitness, along with extended learnings in functional health with elites within the health and fitness industry.
During the pandemic, I’ve spoken to many clients and candidates, family, friends who are pulled in amongst the chaos of the unknown, who can blame them as this will be for most the first major restructure of the ‘uncertainty’ in what it all means for us. Understandably the commonality is naturally our Flight-or-Fight responses of ’How are we all going to survive’ mode.
Clients spoke of trying to manage the levels of anxiety found by many families as a result taking their children out of long day care, along with staff anxiety of ‘will there be full closure to all services’?
On a positive note, though the virus is still around, it seems restrictions are slowly being lifted to what I would call a ‘new normal’ for a while.
A client suggested it be great to get some kind of leadership during this period and in collaboration, we came up with strategies on how I can provide some level of support.
Upon reflection of my own experiences, as I predominantly recruit within early childhood/childcare, any effect to the sector would inadvertently affect the recruitment process. I was fortunate enough not feel the pressure felt by many and will come back to this a little later as to the reasons why.
One of my reasons, amongst many, was that I still maintained my regime of attending sessions with my trainer, Lewis. Not long before the restrictions, and even right after it, with gyms within the first category for immediate shutdown, Lewis always maintained composure with a positive attitude. I thought who better than to question on our current situation with a positive outlook than Lewis.
Why gyms are closed?
In accordance with the Victorian guidelines on the 23rd of March 2020 we had to shut down being a high with human traffic and considered high risk, it’s not just us but for all gyms across the globe. It’s a really good move to beating this virus.
During this time of lockdown for your profession, what current adjustments have you made for yourself and your clients, and why that approach?
For me personally, not much. I’m still doing things I was always doing. Professionally the change has been more so having to go online to abide by the 1.5 social distancing when I train clients in the park (one to one).
You mentioned the situation has not affected you much personally, how so?
I try to get out to exercise, that could be even be walking or shooting hoops (basketball).
With my clients, I would do a video call observing them during the exercise and to ensure they are working in correct positioning. It’s hard to coach verbally which has been the challenge but good success will come out of this. I see this as an opportunity to grow and become and better coach.
What do you mean by the ‘success’ that will come out of this?
This is a great opportunity for success in self-change as a professional, to look into the new way of training and that it runs smoothly, the flip side is clients are still going to the park, basically dealing with thinking outside the box. I know the gym very well and when you take away those tools and no longer have all the bells and whistles; you need to think of ways to maintain a high-level service. Overall, I will come out of this as a better coach.
What are your thoughts on this current pandemic?
It is very unfortunate this has happened but I don’t like to use the word crisis. It’s very unfortunate it is happening. The pandemic is detrimental in my industry at the moment, I believe some trainers won’t survive this period and we will see a decline in personal trainers once this is all said and done. On the other hand, those that do survive are going be in high demand a lot of people over this time are realising their health is not a focus for them and will be brought to the forefront, in turn they will do something about it. An indication that people are becoming more involved with health and fitness look at the parks and walking tracks how busy they are.
There seems to be mixture of emotions, how can we eliminate panic amongst those we are around?
The biggest thing to not create fear is to have a routine and be consistent. For me nothing changes, I wake up at the same time every day, I eat at the same time every day, I train or move every day. Those who are feeling that anxiousness or uncertainty are the people that don’t have a structure to follow, each day is the unknown. Again, I factor in everything work, sleep, fun, you name it. It is in my schedule.
How can we enforce the importance of social distancing without creating panic?
I wouldn’t be seeing this as a problem. People will be more confined if the time comes if there is a likelihood of further lockdowns and some will literally feel they are in a prison; this is where the approach of consistency is really important and exactly where people go wrong. You have a backyard, lounge room, you don’t need to have a lot of time. That’s why its importantly for people like me to support people about health.
How can we as members of the family whether it be husbands, wife’s, children etc obtain a healthy outlook of the current situation? And most importantly maintain it?
Structure your days, use this as an opportunity to educate your kids and family on eating well and exercising daily. If you are unsure, we have the internet a wealth of knowledge on there for you to start with. Consult a trainer or an expert they will more than likely be happy to give you pointers on how you can live your best life over this time.
What 3 strategies do you believe will need to be applied and for how long to support people through this period?
- Eating well, fuel your body to perform at the highest level.
Prepare your meals or schedule in what you are going to eat. The readier you are the less likely you will be inclined to overindulge in those foods that are not good for you or are easy for you to reach for because you are hungry.
- Doing some form of exercise – Get outside, even walking will be beneficial to you. Ideas for training could be following a program, walking, cycling, running, playing with your kids at the park, seeing a personal trainer.
- Keeping yourself in routine – the tide is going to turn and one day things will be back to normal. Treating each day like any other will keep you ready for when everything does go back to normal.
- Doing some form of exercise
- Keeping yourself busy, doing something with your family. In between times when I don’t have clients I’ll be training, doing chores, alone time is really important. All technology and lights off not to stimulate the brain before bed.
Now here is my take away from the interview with Lewis and also being part of the fitness program that has helped me through our challenging time.
Two key factors I believe will help anybody……
How healthy eating improves the world around us
Logically speaking, we use our mind to direct our body every day to make decisions on whether to cross the road when its safe, turn left or right, choosing what school our children go to, or when making an important business decision! I’m trying to state the obvious as all these decisions are based on instinctive and intuitive abilities, therefore it makes a lot of sense to look after our body’s in order for our minds to function at a higher and more rational level.
Some decisions we make can be ‘’life changing’’ dependent on a split-second decision on how we achieve or conceive something depending on what state we’re in at that current time. It could be a short or long-term goal, a life or death decision perhaps. The latter demands the extra effort with little time to prepare! Is that not worth a second glance to tweak our diet?
To make clear, I’m not saying healthy eating is going to miraculously eliminate all our problems, but it helps us make better decisions with a more optimistic outlook and with higher clarity.
Obviously, everyone’s values of what we want to achieve is different, however after feeling the benefits of eating the right foods in the right quantities I felt the increase in mood, much more positive, alert and ‘confident’ in my decision making, where I can execute with a more ‘peace of mind’ in the likelihood I made the right choice the first time, all with optimism.
Consistency starts with us
Keeping a consistent routine during covid-19 helps us to maintain a sense of normality and structure, limits our naturally wondering minds on the negativity of the ‘unknown’ around the pandemic that ineffectively we have no control over and keeps us aligned in being more productive. Now I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like achieving something?! Feeling the sense of achievement is what keeps us going and it can be as small or as big as you want it to be. After the restrictions were applied, I intentionally adjusted work habits with new goals that would otherwise have been the norm. I felt at ‘ease’ feeling the progress as I consistently worked towards the new goals where time constraints prior top COVID-19 wouldn’t allow. I used to say, I wish I had more time and now here it is!
Another great example of how consistency can be very powerful tool is if we look into the psychology of children. In my earlier career as an early childhood manager overseeing programs for children between ages 1.5 to 5 years, Children have short attention spans and can’t tell time, yet intuitively were aware of the structure of ‘what is going to happen next’ and would calmly transition throughout the day with little prompting. Part reason for this is that the children had an organised routine set by the staff which gave the children a sense of direction of what to expect daily, they knew there was a plan and moved towards it.
I know it’s hard for a lot of us at the moment, however trying to see the silver lining in the ‘gift of time’ during this period by setting and staying consistent with our goals can also a great chance to upskill, or the opportunity to spend quality more time with family! We’re in the era where technology is a MASSIVE with multiple platforms of communication as a way to connect. Imagine if the pandemic happened twenty to fifteen years ago, what a scary thought!
Upon reflection, to perform at our best we need to look after ourselves. In most cases, we fall short of this getting caught up in the hustle and grind of everyday life. There has to be a level of commitment that goes with anything, but essentially our health is what helps guide our conscious and unconscious perceptions towards everything. There is that saying, where there is a ‘Will’, there’s a way, absolutely true! With that said, having the will can only take you so far with low energy levels to find that level of perseverance to stay consistent.
What I’ve found going into the program
I’ve counted my blessings within my recruitment career and am always on the lookout to grow and learn on how to serve clients and candidates better. However, near the end of the second year I wasn’t performing at the level I was used to. I started to withdraw from family and friends to reserve energy for the next day to ensure the continued high delivery of the business. I knew something needed to change. After consult with Lewis and participation in the program, I am now more energetic with higher self-esteem, this isn’t to do with physically looking good, however that has been the added benefit. Most importantly, having gained the mental strength and clarity to apply and persevere. I’ve now come to realise that I was too fixated on the business compromising on my own overall health and in turn impacted on the way I made meaningful decisions. I highly recommend this program, one of the best ROI’s I’ve made this year.
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