Feedback enters our lives from the very earliest stages, when we are wee little beings, dependent on our parents’ and carers’ love and actions for our survival.
As we grow and pursue knowledge, friendship, love, physical activities, careers and success, feedback is a central theme.
This article looks at feedback in general but also specifically at the personal training feedback sandwich.
Do you need feedback?
So although I have highlighted how feedback is following us throughout our lives, do you feel you need it? Psychologically some people may need it more than others. Simplistically this is down to your level of self worth, but in reality the subject of feedback is not so straightforward.
Some so-called success gurus preach that we shouldn’t depend on the feedback of others – that it’s a sign that we are on the road to success if we are no longer dependent on others’ feedback. I partially agree with this, as being dependent on it is not good, but being receptive however is healthy.
Feedback can be used so productively as a guiding principle that shapes our social, learning and training endeavours.
Why do some people who have the way and the means seek out mentors? For a well-balanced package of learning from a trusted, experienced and getting plenty of useful feedback. Therefore I believe that we can all do with feedback, especially when we need to learn more or maintain a healthy level of motivation.
Personal training feedback sandwich
So if you are using a personal trainer, how would you rate his or her feedback approach? I know some people who won’t use a personal trainer as they have a negative image of them for giving predominantly – “negative shouting feedback.” Of course a really good, experienced personal trainer who knows how to help you get results knows that feedback is vital to the process.
The first ingredient in the personal training feedback sandwich is positive reinforcement.
1. Positive reinforcement
Reinforcing your success, by praising you for what you have done correctly – these may be small things, and you may have performed some part of the routine incorrectly, but it is important that your personal trainer reinforces your success by giving this feedback. He will of course also need to help you correct the incorrect parts.
Working this way means that you should feel confident about some of what you are doing, and be receptive to the necessary construction criticism.
2. Future oriented instruction
Assuming there are mistakes that need to be corrected, this should be done as a future orientated instruction. The personal trainer should give you the reason that you made a mistake. For example, by explaining that the next time you carry out the exercise, that it will be corrected by putting your legs at a 90 degree angle, that on this occasion the angle didn’t allow you to carry out the exercise correctly.
3. Finish the session on a high
The training session should be finished on a high, by the PT. This can be done by a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication. Encouragement, general and specific praise should be given. This leaves you feeling encouraged to work hard in the next session, and also strengthens the working relationship you have with your personal trainer.
So I leave you with the question – if you do have a personal trainer – Is his/her personal training feedback sandwich edible?