The Stimulation VS. Annihilation Mindset

Updated: Apr 19

Throughout the years as a fitness professional, I’ve come across people who want to skip all the foundations for a workout they saw on social media or who believe a workout is a not a good workout unless DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is guaranteed in the days following. Don’t get me wrong! I love this kind of driven mindset to challenge oneself, but not at the expense safety or one's perception of their self-worth.

As personal trainers, we’re given a desired goal from our clients, and we create a program to achieve the goal. We also design the programs based current level of fitness, as well as the client’s knowledge and capabilities of the movements, the exercise. There’s no way I’m going to prescribe a workout with a burpee, let alone a jump squat, if the client can’t execute a squat with proper technique. A personal trainer doesn’t just give you the exercise, he or she TEACHES you the movement. A good fitness professional also helps you to visualize the parallel between the exercise and everyday activities.


Whether you work with a coach or research and learn the exercises on your own, you got to start at the base mountain and work your way up. You don’t build a house until the foundation sets. Additionally, if you’re recovering from an injury or feeling some non-exercise related pains, you must work around limitation or leave the ego at the door and reduce the intensity. Personal fitness coaches respond to those cues and adjust the workout of the day accordingly.


One of the adversities we face in a client session is that of competing against that annihilation mindset. Many want the “go-go-go” type of workout. That sweat ‘til you drop type of workout. Yet, some still need more time with the foundational movements. Others need to take it slow if experiencing aches and pains. Due to that mindset, it becomes a challenge to properly teach certain moves, like the hip hinge, or lead a much-needed lower impact session. As a result, the chances of injury increase. It’s like a Catch-22. We want to make sure my clients don’t get injured, in order for maintain a long-lasting relationship with them. However, we want to give them the workout the