Becoming "Superhuman" and What it Means
I was recently named one of PTontheNET's 2015 Ambassadors, which means that I'll be generating content for a website that caters to thousands of personal trainers around the globe. It is a pretty cool honor to be selected as someone capable of communicating health and fitness advice to fellow professionals.
You can check out my first piece right here (It is an article meant for trainers, but ya know, you can still give it a read. I appreciate the clicks :)
So that's pretty cool. Hopefully I'll deserve the title when it is all said and done this year, and will have made a positive impact on the industry.
Unleash the Superhuman
I've been a personal trainer for six years now, and have loved every bit of it. I've done thousands and thousands of sessions (almost 1,600 last year if my count was correct), and will continue to do thousands and thousands more. The One-on-one space is where the most magic happens for a multitude of reasons.
Customized programming, individual cueing, attention to detail, and simply spending an hour alone with my wit (duh) often leads to exceedingly great results for my clients. I often say at the beginning of a session, "Let's make magic happen". Truthfully, we almost always do.
For the last two, almost three years I have doubled as a group exercise instructor at the club I work at. Every Thursday night at 7:30pm, or Friday morning at 7AM I'd strut into a room of anywhere from ten to thirty-five people and do my best to give them a great workout. The classes were titled Athletic Interval and Superman respectively (I didn't name them).
I like to think that I did a pretty good job at that. I spent countless hours picking trendy, high-energy music that people may not hear all the time. I played with bodyweight moves, and progressions, and planned everything out meticulously. To this date, I've only missed one of each class in the last three years, and that was because I was in Punta Cana.
I don't like missing work. It paid well, and I had a ton of fun teaching. I tried various ways to unify the room, and create a more awesome atmosphere that was like a magnet. Some things worked well, and others flopped. I went too far down a electronic trance hole and lost a few people for my poor selection of music. I even toyed around with formatting so much so that some people thought I had lost my mind.
Classes were successful but they weren't where I wanted them. So, instead of looking at the product...I decided to look at the producer.
I had to ask myself the hard question of, "Who am I?" As a man, as a trainer, as an instructor, as just a guy to hang out with for an hour. Allowing myself to be introspective gave me the secret sauce.
I'm passionate about fitness and people, dedicated to my craft, horribly corny but sometimes funny, a bit arrogant but never rude, and I always love to put on a show. I care about the people who walk into my classroom similarly to how I care about my personal clients. I'm willing to pour all of my energy into that hour for my people.
I want to motivate them, empower them, build them, and give them an avenue to begin laying the foundations of their legacy!
And so that's what I decided I would do. I was going to be different than the others. It isn't just hello, welcome to getting your ass kicked for an hour while listening to some jams. Rather, it is, "hello, my name is Kevin Mullins and for the next hour I'm going to push you, pull you, and show you that you are so much better than you thought you were; Let's get it!"
The transition from Sports Club/LA to Equinox provided a fresh start. A new name, SUPERHUMAN took to the stage on Thursdays and Fridays. My mentality changed, and the progressions, game plans, and concerns over the flow went out the window.
Let's Make Magic Happen
Superhuman is about the people in that room committing to one goal with each other. That goal is simple. Be better when you walk out of the room than you were when you walked in. You will be tired, and you will be sweaty. Your heart will be pumping, and tomorrow you will be sore. Yet, if you stick with me, and keep coming to this class we will all grow, and lay down the foundations for something beautiful.
Being superhuman means being above the fold. It means being capable of great feats that most mere mortals only watch in awe. It isn't about how strong, fast, ripped, muscular, or conditioned you are. The program will help you achieve those things. Being superhuman isn't about anything we can see. It is about your mind.
Being superhuman is emblematic of your willingness to go beyond the normal expectations of workload and commitment.
Today's society is full of half-assed individuals wandering the streets looking for the next quick dollar, or the get-skinny in a day scheme. It seems like no one is capable of hunkering down and making a long term commitment to being great.
Brick by Brick as they say.
Here is a confession. I haven't designed a workout for SUPERHUMAN since October. I haven't obsessed over the format either.
I know that I want to get about 20 exercises in the class in about 40 minutes. It allows for a two-three minute halftime and multiple fifteen to twenty second breaks when I feel they are necessary. I round it all off with a ten to twelve minute BIG FINISH to leave class on the highest note possible, and 5 minutes to break down equipment and go through my custom stretching flow.
By definition I'm unprepared. When we warm up I feel the room and see the faces. I decided how we start and where we go. I let the ROOM TELL ME WHERE THE WORKOUT NEEDS TO GO...instead of force feeding some ego-driven workout down their throats.
The Results? The Class is packed. Last week I had over 58 people between the two classes.
The take home message?
Sometimes the secret to your success is truly right in front of you. My class surrounds me each and every week, and as soon as I let their energy and heart drive the ship, well...
I'm still the professional and come up with new exercises, and know how to avoid burning out people's wrists in pushups and climbers, and can get lactic acid out of someone's quads if I need to. I can slow down and speed up the heart rate with a few adjustments on the fly if I feel the room needs it. I can use tons of equipment or almost none.
Sometimes in the fervor I forget an exercise and they are quick to correct me. I joke that I am allowed one a class. I laugh, make a corny joke, and hope they forgive me...and keep the partying moving.
I'm writing this blog post dedicated to all the people who take my class. Many of them may never read it, and some of them surely will (mainly because they are getting tagged when I share this sucker to Facebook). I just think it should be documented just how amazing they are, and how they are the most powerful people in the world every time they walk in that room.
My Message to my faithful: I truly love you guys. You will never know how nervous I am every time I walk into that room and coach you. Even now writing this article I feel chills. I take your fitness, your happiness, and your essence into my hands every time you trust me to give you your workout. I'll do my best to never let you down. I'll always bring the good music, my corny jokes, and enough caffeine fueled energy to launch a rocket ship.
Just keep showing up.
My Message to those who have read this and have no idea why they did:
Fitness is more than six pack abs. Being in shape is more than a bathing suit, or a beach vacation. Fitness is a journey meant to be experienced. Even if there was a pill that could get you ripped by tomorrow, or muscular by yesterday...would you really want to take it? Would you appreciate it?
The hard work, the camaraderie, and the lessons learned along the way are the magic touch that makes fitness worth achieving. Pushups can hurt, squats can burn, and burpees always suck.
Yet, success is so satisfying that you'll never let it go.
Leave your comfort zone, leave your bubble. Be great. Be Superhuman.