Think of yourself as a lifelong student of health and fitness. Don’t just show up and mindlessly do what you are being told, then forget all about it until your next session and start again. Study your body the same way as you would study and analyze the Asian stock market. Have a mindset that you are about to teach a friend some of the things that you have learned. Or imagine that you are going to have to take a test at the end of the week and answer some questions regarding your training and nutrition.

Sure this is harder and more inconvenient than just showing up but over time this will bring clarity and ownership. You will know your body better than any expert ever will. You will have control and knowledge of your situation instead of blindly believing what’s put in front of you. In the lack of better terms, doing so will improve your “shit-radar”. And you better have it on full blast when sailing through all the money-grabbing crap that is truly alive in health and fitness industry.

It is also easier to learn a new habit or a skill when you teach it to someone else. Not only because you have to repeat what you’ve done but also because you are more likely to have success when working in teams or as a part of a bigger community of people who have similar ideas and values. So question everything that might bother your mind instead of just following along. It’s easier to embrace certain things once you truly understand why you do it. Go extreme and think of yourself as someone who is learning to become a coach instead of someone who is just showing up and learning to be fit.

That is one of the biggest differences between a one on one/small group training and a typical cardio/aerobics class. With the aerobics class you show up, move according to what the instructor tells you to, sweat and go home. You come back the next day and repeat it. That’s someone teaching you to be fit. Don’t get me wrong, these classes can be a great way to meet like minded people and just get a good workout in. Sometimes we just need to move.

However, with one on one or small group training the emphasis is on (at least it should be!!) teaching you the principles and skills behind the method as well. It’s not just a workout. It’s an ongoing process of learning, provided that you keep an open mind. When you only learn a skill or a new exercise you can only take it so far before eventually needing to progress. You know how to do something but you have no idea why. Eventually you run out of choices. But when you learn the principle behind it and truly understand the concept, that’s when you are in control of your situation.

The choice is yours: you can just show up, blindly follow instructions, go home and forget everything. Repeat the same thing over and over again and never really learn anything on the deeper level. This will assure that you will remain a target for the bullshit fitness marketing praying on unknowing victims. Or you can think of your health and fitness as a lifelong learning. It’s your body and your mind. Remember that no instructor, personal trainer, coach or anyone else knows your mind and your body like you can if you put in the time to study it.

So which one are you, a student of health and fitness or a student of being fit?