As most of you can probably relate, it can be tough to find something when you REALLY need it. The remote, your chap-stick, your checkbook, etc. This is similar to finding a new blog topic. You rack your brain and come up with nothing for a while. Then, boom! It hits you. The Mike Tyson of ideas.
So last week I was carrying on with my day and I noticed some differences, particularly in people who train and how you should coach them. This can be applied elsewhere in life, as I know you'll be able to line up specific people in your life and where they fall. I'm talking, of course, about Fast Twitch People and Slow Twitch People. Let me explain what I mean.
Fast Twitch People
These people are the ones that just go. The are intrinsically motivated, and don't really need you to "Ra Ra Ra" them. They know what they want and will take action to get it. This can be great but sometimes they'll need to be slowed down. For example; take someone who is learning a new lift, and they are crushing reps like a champ. However, they might be missing certain technical cues. Then, might not want to take an appropriate rest period, and 35 minutes later they are looking at you like, "OMG, I'm so gassed, LOLZ." As a coach, slow them down. Make sure they get it right, stick to the plan, and when it's time to add the crazy sauce, tell them they can.
Lifting aside, maybe you have a friend who is an activity fiend. Cue the Jay-Z music- On to the next, On to the next... They are really good at getting the small things done, but struggle with the big ones because they are quick to make decisions. They bounce around from person to person, and are usually the life of the party and down for whatever life brings them.
Slow Twitch People
Now, this type of person is usually a little bit more reserved and unsure of themselves in new situations. They are very calculated in everything they do, so it can be tough to get them to maybe... try a new exercise or speed up outside their comfort zone. With every rep they are saying, "Please don't get hurt, Please!" For example, this could be the soccer mom who night in and night out is on the elliptical, even though you have invited her to class or offered her some coaching to get her started. But after many attempts, she thinks that, "the elliptical is safe for me and makes me feel good, so I'm just going to stay here instead." (I'm not saying this is a bad thing, either) For these individuals, it's just about being patient and giving them some encouragement along the way. The harder you push the more they will be resilient.
This might be your friend who is happy being at home. They are just going to do what they want, period. You can't do anything "fun" with them because they don't think that being ANY of the following is "fun": Scared, Out of control, Uncomfortable, Unsafe, etc.
Let's Get Married
9 times out of 10, the people who are successful in achieving what their goals are the ones who can find a balance between who they are and how they approach fitness. They know how to turn it on and turn it off. It doesn't work if you have one without the other. Your body can't always run on carbohydrates, it needs some fat to help be more efficient and fill in the gaps when you are relaxing. And that's where those Fast Twitch and Slow Twitch fibers come in. (There are other types, yes, but this is a generalization) You should be able to move quickly when you have to (Run from bears), and move at a more moderate pace (Hike up Mt. Washington).
Think about what type of person you are. Are you the Rabbit or the Turtle? Try to blend the two, unless of course you are on the extremes of each side of the spectrum (Examples: O-Lifters or Elite Marathoners).
For the fast twitchers, try and plan out what you're doing and don't stray away from that. This might be pretty tough at first, but being a bit more methodical in your approach will go a long way. For the slow twitchers, get out of your comfort zone; within reason. I'm not saying you need to go cliff diving. Just think about taking some steps outside the box.
For both of these, don't think I'm telling you to get away from what you're good at. That's not my objective. But, if you can learn to grab the "bull of who you are" by the horns and control it, you'll be stronger and better for it.