imagesI remember my first educational experience with the Ignite 360 Training methodology.  This was about 2 years ago in Sarasota Florida in the ball room of the Hyatt Regency Hotel near downtown Sarasota on the bay.  At the time it was called Combine 360, a brand new training and testing platform that had just rolled out but not yet found its footing.  The experience was 4 and a half days of non-stop education and experience.  Each day began with a workout at 6am and ended when the dinner keynote speaker wrapped up around 10pm.  We spent days listening to lecture and participating in practical’s using some pieces of fitness equipment that were new to us to apply a methodology that was also brand new.  As if this was not enough the room was packed with almost a hundred trainers bounding, jumping and moving trying to apply this new information.

I will tell you first hand the excitement and energy were amazing but there was a problem.  The sensory and information overload with that kind of exposure were at dangerously high levels.

In the book the Naked Presenter by Garr Reynolds he talks about how people absorb and retain new information.  He used a brilliant analogy of people as an empty glass.  He states that our glass becomes full with all of our knowledge and experience but the paradox is that a full glass can hold no more and nothing new can come in.  He encourages his audiences to “empty” there glass before the presentation begins so that new knowledge can flow in.  He then warns presenters against one of the biggest pitfalls we make; trying to impart the audience with too much information.  When we give too much and the glass overflows everything pours back out and most of what we are trying to share is lost.  The secret he states is to allow the audience times in the presentation to take “sips” out of their glass so more can be added without overflow.  Information needs some time to digest before new ideas can be piled on top of them, if that is not allowed all becomes lost.

In Late 2012 Ignite 360 sat down to discover their true value to the fitness industry. Through an extensive process of rebranding themselves and communicating a clear new mission they also took a major look at the certification events and how to make them more effective and impactful.  The challenging decision was made to cut the live certification events back to 2 days instead of 4.5.  A scary step for the content creators, we often have such a hard time making cuts because to us every part of the process or experience is necessary with purpose. The truth is many times less is MUCH more.

The result?

The new 2 day course launched in December of 2012 and the experience and feedback has been amazing.  The participants carry more energy and enthusiasm throughout the entire cert; it is far easier to be crazy fired up for 2 days then semi fired up for 4.

The biggest difference?

Understanding and implementation of the information has gone through the roof.  People are taking home and implementing far more than we saw in the past.  Participants are going home fired up and ready to put this info into action, their understanding of the content is much higher; understanding leads to action.  It is much easier to take action when you are not overloaded and can think clearly.

The lesson?

The old adage is true; sometimes less can lead to far more.  Be mindful of information overload; we can easily put our clients and athletes into a similar situation.  Just because something is easy to understand for you doesn’t mean it is for others.  These lessons can be used in many parts of your day to day interactions, for example; if I see an athlete doing many things wrong on an exercise I try to be mindful of info overload and only give them 1 to 3 things max to work on.  I know if I give them more than 3 cues it is too much to focus on and none of them will be address.  If I can give them just 1 or 2 impactful coaching points they have a much higher rate of success to implement them.

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About caseystutzman

Casey Stutzman is an AFAA certified trainer and has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 2004. Since 2006 he has acted as the Head Trainer at the Bay Athletic Club in Alpena Michigan. Casey’s love of athletics and competition drove him in to the fitness industry. He uses his experience as a division 1 college football player, amateur bodybuilding competitor, strongman competitor to help others reach their goals in all areas of fitness. Casey spends his time at Bay Athletic Club teaching Boot Camps, small group training sessions, training clients and working with participants in Bay Athletic Club’s Corporate Fit Challenge program. He also develops strength and conditioning programs and does performance training for a number of local athletic organizations and high school teams. As an Ignite Performance Master trainer and Master Instructor for TRX Casey travels North America to educate and connect with fitness professionals to help them offer more to their clients and athletes. Time outside of fitness is occupied with reading, travel, indoor rock climbing, snow sports and being an active outdoorsman. He enjoys spending free time with his wife Mary Beth, his daughter Vesper, son Indiana and Turkish the family dog.

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