In our industry right now there is this pendulum swing back from CrossFit that all metabolic training is horrible, criminal even, especially within the general population.

Given that the vast majority of Americans are overworked, overweight, undernourished, and under sleeping, one could make the call that as a strength coach if you have a stressed out client, you should not add more exercise stress to that system. Completely valid.

Yet, you have to do something!? Because well…that’s your job.

Here is what I would recommend. You get this person strength training 2-3 times a week with multi-joint big payoff exercises performed well with higher reps (but staying away from failure) and longer rest intervals, then you increase the shit out of their NEAT as much as possible AKA at least 10,000 steps.

If they are a weight loss client, much to their dismay this is probably all they really need combined with dietary and lifestyle adjustments. With this type of protocol you also aren’t going to get much, if any of a cortisol response.

Pure and simple, it’s the safe play. It is also extremely Vanilla…

because you aren’t going to get a β-endorphin or dopamine pop with those types of protocols and the name of the game with every and any client is ADHERENCE, so one could also make the argument that without them feeling something and the reinforcement of dopamine you may lose them after a week to coconut oil lollipops and the boot camp down the street.

How do I go about deciding which play I am going to make?

I assess the person. If everything about their life screams minivan moderation – I am going head first into that safe play. If everything about the person yells addict, dopamine, and inability to moderate I am making the play to give them exactly what they expect and want, and then I use that addiction to build all the other habits I need in play for them to possibly adapt to that exercise stress.

Risk-averse, moderator coaches have the biggest problem with making that dopamine play and they lose clients because of it. They play small ball and never steal bases, but that shit doesn’t put people in the seats unless you win a shit ton of games…and they just might.

Dopamine coaches are always swinging for the fences and sending everyone all the time. The music is loud. It’s fun, but you are going to strike out and you are going to get picked off, and the person that is going to suffer the consequences isn’t you.

Play the game. That’s why you’re here and don’t be afraid to lay down a bunt or let it all hang out on a 3-1 count in the name of adherence.